Youth Coastal Ambassadors Program
In November 2021, The Trustees launched a Youth Coastal Ambassadors Program (YCAP) on Martha’s Vineyard, connecting island high school students interested in coastal studies with Trustees stewardship and resilience work.
Developed through the Claire Saltonstall Education Program, the YCAP is designed to help teens develop skills in leadership, stewardship, public engagement, and education. Students take part in short training sessions and hands-on site work one Saturday each month to learn about ecology, the effects of climate change on coastal landscapes, and restoration and adaptation techniques. In fall and spring, hands-on work includes a variety of on-property stewardship and Citizen Science projects including beach profiling, salt marsh cleanups, invasive species management, and dune restoration. In winter months, students take on independently driven projects, including producing educational videos, aiding facilitators on school field trips, and interviewing Trustees employees about the work they do in the field.
“Through this ambassadors program, we hope to prepare students for future careers in conservation while providing a foundation of knowledge that is vital to how we will manage and adapt to life along the coast with the impacts of climate change,” notes Molly Peach Mayhew, Islands Education Manager for the Trustees.