We are Creating Communities that Conserve Wetlands!
This year begins our 10th year of reintroduction efforts to create a self-sustaining population of the striped newt, a rare salamander species, into its former stronghold the Apalachicola National Forest. But perhaps more significantly, our efforts provide a unique opportunity for youth and other citizens to witness and participate in species restoration and recovery; understand the importance of small, often overlooked, wetlands; and learn about the native longleaf pine ecosystem, amphibian natural history, and scientific methods. The public, and especially school-aged children, increasingly are learning about conservation and ecological issues through digital media and thus the connection between humans and the natural world is increasingly a virtual one. Engaging the region's youth, families, and other citizens in this way will improve environmental literacy, which in turn will increase their involvement in, and knowledge about, environmental issues and the natural sciences in general.