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Picture yourself as a sea lion in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Now picture yourself as a migrant strawberry picker in Watsonville, California. How are these two experiences connected? About half of our human population lives and works near the coast.  By 2025, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has predicted that over 75% of Americans will live by the sea.  We are inherently attracted–socially, economically, and biologically–to the resources we gain from our oceans.  On this ASB, we examine the relationship between people and coastal ecosystems through the frameworks of environmental and human health. We also look at how educational attainment and other socio-economic factors affect communities’ relationships with these issues. We will spend our week in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties exploring social issues tied to agricultural communities by getting our hands dirty with farming projects and learning about youth education efforts and opportunities for related policy. We will create your own stewardship connection with the local environment and start developing an understanding of your place in the watershed and your connection to natural systems.  This blog provides a space to dive into these complex and relevant issues.

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