Grasonville, MD - July 5, 2010 - Today, 21 students from the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) visited the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) to learn how environmental stewardship can be successfully implemented in their native Arab countries. This group, in partnership with Georgetown's Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED), Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and the Department of Government, is made up of students representing 15 countries, including Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
To gain first-hand experience in environmental stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay, students immersed themselves in CBEC’s living shoreline education and restoration by seining and planting bay grasses while learning about the Chesapeake Bay’s delicate ecosystem.
In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said MEPI is "…building civil society and providing tangible services to people help result in stronger nations that share the goals of security, prosperity, peace, and progress." With growing concerns about global climate change, these students are learning to work together toward finding and implementing solutions toward worldwide environmental concerns.
CBEC Restoration Manager Vicki Paulas said, "At CBEC, we hope that by sharing common environmental challenges, including balancing environmental concerns with brisk economic development in these nations, we can be a small part of the global shift toward environmental stewardship."
Following a relaxing lunch overlooking the Bay, students kayaked along CBEC’s waterways to explore oyster reefs and resident wildlife at the 510-acre sanctuary.