Outreach and Engagement Engaging and collaborating to achieve a healthy estuarine system APNEP engages with partnering organizations and the public to improve awareness and understanding of environmental issues facing the region and encourage collective stewardship of the region's resources. Overview Engaging partners and collaboration are the overarching principles necessary for the achievement of suitable environmental outcomes. To accomplish program goals, APNEP will work closely with its partners to ensure that activities and resources are focused on the most urgent and important problems. Many of the programs and laws now used to regulate or support activities in our watershed were established on a piecemeal basis to address significant individual problems. Improved coordination of planning for land use, water supply, ecosystem protection, transportation, and restoration will enable us to more effectively address problems at an ecosystem scale. APNEP engages its partnering organizations and the public to improve awareness and understanding of environmental issues facing the Albemarle-Pamlico region. Furthermore, APNEP engages individual and collective stewardship of the region’s resources, including support for the planning, policies, and actions required to sustain the Albemarle-Pamlico ecosystem and its human communities. Since 2002, APNEP has supported over 40 outdoor education-conservation initiatives as schools and non-formal education centers throughout the region. Many of these projects incorporate restoration of on-site wetlands, stormwater retention projects, or other habitat restoration, as well as utilizing those projects as educational tools alongside outdoor classrooms and nature trails. In addition, APNEP has supported over 90 education and outreach projects, including 15 years of support for an annual teacher professional development institute. 2012-2022 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan Current Projects Shad in the Classroom Shad in the Classroom is a collaborative project that provides students with an understanding of the science process, inspiration for careers in science, and a desire to protect our waterways, particularly in the APNEP region. This project allows students to gain hands-on experience raising American shad from egg to releasable fry. This effort is a collaboration led by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, with substantial financial support from APNEP. Summer Teacher Institute Each summer since 2004, APNEP has supported a Summer Teacher Institute for educators that focuses on estuarine and water quality education. The specific grade level(s) and goals of the program vary each year and are based on identified needs and gaps in current professional development opportunities for educators in the Albemarle-Pamlico region. Scientific Research and Education Network APNEP has participated in numerous Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) events since 2014, facilitating the dissemination of APNEP-created lesson plans about our estuarine system to educators across the region. North Carolina-Virginia Collaboration APNEP works with both North Carolina and Virginia to accomplish its goals, and facilitated the development and signing of a 2017 interstate Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate collaboration between state agencies involved in protecting and restoring the NC-VA river basins flowing into Albemarle Sound. APNEP and our partners have been working since then to continue strengthening interstate partnerships via research, outreach, and knowledge-sharing initiatives. River Basin Booklets The Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system is made up of six river basins that flow into the sounds. APNEP has supported the NC Office of Environmental Education to develop and print educational materials, including booklets, that tell the story of each of the region's unique river basins. Virginia Teacher Resources APNEP is working to increase the accessibility of resources that raise awareness of the link between southern Virginia's waterways and their eventual destination, the Albemarle-Pamlico estuary. Check out and download a map of the bistate Albemarle Watershed and access a toolbox of lesson plans, information, and presentations about Virginia's "Southern Watershed" and its connection to Albemarle Sound. Albemarle-Pamlico Watershed Highway Signs APNEP worked with the NC Department of Transportation to design and install highway signs at the edges of the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed. These signs will raise awareness of the extent of the region and of the connectivity from headwaters to the coast. Past Projects View information about past and completed APNEP-funded projects.