TNACI's mission is to conserve native aquatic animals and their habitats through scientific research, ecosystem restoration, education programs, and public outreach. Historically, TNACI's focus has been on freshwater conservation. However, with the help of celebrity chef Alton Brown, TNACI and the Tennessee Aquarium are moving downstream into the realm of marine conservation through sustainable seafood education.
You may have heard all the buzz when Alton was in town during September. He delivered an engaging presentation to a sold out IMAX Theater, highlighting the importance of environmentally responsible, healthy seafood choices. He definitely brought down the house! But the journey for sustainable seafood education doesn't stop there. Our goal is for the message and actions to spread into the Chattanooga community and beyond.
To continue spreading the message, TNACI now offers a new outreach program called Serve & Protect: a new way to SEEfood. As our Sustainability Coordinator, I get to visit area high schools to educate students about the impacts commercial fishing can have on our ocean, the advantages and drawbacks of fish farming, and ways teenagers and their families can be active in ocean conservation through seafood choices.
Our first group of high schoolers to take part in this program was the students and Girls Preparatory School here in Chattanooga. I spoke to the marine science class at GPS at the start of this week, and had a blast. The students learned what characteristics make a certain species more vulnerable to overfishing, what popular seafood species are in trouble due to overexploitation, and sustainable alternatives. Check out our Facebook page , or GPS's website for more pictures from the program.
If you are interested in TNACI coming to your school to talk about sustainable seafood, contact Ashford Rosenberg.