Students observe Earth Day by “Connecting to the Oceans”
20th annual Wheelabrator Environmental Symposium to be held in May
HAMPTON, N.H. — April 22, 2014 — As America celebrates Earth Day today, students at 15 middle schools across the East Coast will be putting the finishing touches on sustainability projects they will present next month at the 20th annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education in Broward County, Fla.
Renewable energy provider Wheelabrator Technologies is partnering with third-generation ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau to celebrate the milestone of the educational program that has inspired thousands of middle school students to become environmental leaders in their communities. Cousteau will be the keynote speaker at the Symposium’s 20th anniversary celebration.
“Wheelabrator’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond our day-to-day operations and includes corporate social responsibility programs designed to foster environmental awareness, education and community engagement,” said Mark Weidman, president of Wheelabrator Technologies. “This Earth Day, we are delighted to celebrate the environmental work of Wheelabrator Symposium students as we near our anniversary celebration in May. This community engagement program has been the cornerstone of our work to help build sustainable communities.”
The theme of the 2014 Wheelabrator Symposium, “Connecting to the Oceans,” is designed to engage students in research, scientific study and community projects linking the quality of the local environment to the health of the seas around us.
Wheelabrator’s educational partnership with Cousteau encourages student teams to demonstrate how the environmental impact of their sustainability projects goes beyond their own local communities and connects to the oceans. Wheelabrator’s student teams are tackling innovative projects this year.
- W.E. Waters Middle School students in Portsmouth, Va., are raising public awareness of the declining population of Atlantic menhaden fish in Chesapeake Bay.
- Middle school students in Peekskill, N.Y., are exploring the impacts of urban and industrial development on the Hudson River Estuary Watershed, specifically water quality and ecosystems.
- Students at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Fla., launched a community campaign to educate residents about the impact to the ecosystem when fishing laws are ignored.
- Park City Magnet School students in Bridgeport, Conn., are creating a community campaign to elevate awareness of the environmental threats facing the Long Island Sound and how to protect coastal areas.
- Students at Green Street Academy in Baltimore, Md., are exploring ways to reduce storm water runoff within the community.
In all, 150 students from 15 schools in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions will present their projects to a panel of Wheelabrator employees, educators and environmental experts at the annual 4-day Symposium being held May 5-8 in Sunrise, Fla.
After the Symposium, students will be able to follow Fabien Cousteau, first grandson of legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and his team during Mission 31, a month-long research mission beginning June 1 in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary aboard Aquarius, the only underwater marine habitat and lab in the world. Students will also be able to participate in online science sessions on ocean conservation led by renowned scientists.
The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Sunrise – Sawgrass Mills is a partner sponsor of the Symposium event, providing the accommodations for the anniversary celebration.
ABOUT WHEELABRATOR TECHNOLOGIES INC.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is a leader in the safe and environmentally sound conversion of municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy. Wheelabrator owns or operates 17 waste-to-energy facilities that provide safe waste disposal for towns and cities across the U.S. Wheelabrator also operates four independent power plants designed to generate electricity using an assortment of fuels, including waste wood, waste coal, and natural gas. In addition to producing electricity, some of these facilities also produce steam sold to nearby government and commercial establishments. Wheelabrator’s 21 facilities have a combined electric generating capacity of 853 megawatts, enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes. To learn more, visit www.wheelabratortechnologies.com or follow us on Twitter.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.