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Educate. Empower. Act. The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators and communities of the world with water education. We invite you to join us in educating children about the most precious resource on the planet — water.
This month's featured coordinator is Kim McCoy. Kim had only been trained as a Project WET Coordinator for one day when she volunteered to host the 2012 Project WET USA Conference. Kim's organization, the Watershed Access Lab at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass., became a Host Institution in April of 2011, and Kim was trained in Montana at the September 2011 WETUSA Conference. She held her first Project WET workshop on in January of this year.
"Working with Kim on the Conference Planning team was a joy", says Cindy Etgen, Project WET USA Council representative to the team. "Her organizational skills, great ideas and willingness to work hard, along with her wicked New England sense of humor, came in handy while planning a conference with a long distance team."
Project WET (PW): Why did you want to be a Project WET Coordinator?
Kim McCoy (KM): Our mission at the Watershed Access Lab at BSU is to promote Science and Math education in Southeastern Massachusetts through watershed science and global environmental awareness of local and international water resource issues. Project WET was a perfect fit for our program and the educators and students we work with.
PW: What is unique about your water address?
KM: BSU is found within the Taunton River Watershed Basin. The main stem of the watershed, the Taunton River, is formed by the confluence of the Town and Matfield Rivers in the town of Bridgewater, less than 3 miles from the BSU Campus. The Taunton River is the only major coastal river in the region that is without a dam or obstruction over its entire length. The river is directly tied to early contact between English settlers and Native People and, with its major tributaries, shows many examples of early colonial industrial innovation including millworks and transportation. The watershed hosts 154 species of birds, 45 species of fish, and 360 identified plant species, three of which are globally rare. In 2009, the Taunton River was designate as a National Wild and Scenic River, thus requiring that rivers within the system be preserved in free-flowing condition and managed to protect and enhance their outstanding values.
PW: How does your water address impact the way you use Project WET?
KM: Because of its great significance to our region, the Taunton River is a perfect study area to connect our educators and youth to the natural world around them. Our close proximity to this amazing resource, gives us the ability to get up close and hands on with our groups and connect them to the importance of preservation, conservation and stewardship.
PW: What is your fondest or funniest Project WET memory?
KM: I must admit that holding the Project WET USA Conference was an amazing undertaking and for me that has to be my fondest Project WET memory. All the members of the Project WET community have welcomed me into the fold and have become some really great friends. As for funniest memory, that has to be the Pilgrim skit presented during our opening night banquet at the conference. After all, where else do I get to dress up like a pirate, act silly, and entertain the masses?
To learn more about Kim and the Watershed Access Lab at Bridgewater State University, visit the WAL website. And stay tuned for the next Coordinator Spotlight!