Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition partners with Michigan Sea Grant Extension
Michigan Sea Grant Extension is working with the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition to advance Great Lakes literacy and stewardship.
April 22, 2013 - Author: Steve Stewart, Michigan State University Extension
Michigan Sea Grant Extension has a strong and longstanding commitment to advancing Great Lakes literacy and stewardship. The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS), based at Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education, facilitates school-community partnerships to develop students as citizen-stewards of healthy ecological-social systems. Both have been engaged in the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, and together, are working to develop school-community partnerships to the betterment of our Great Lakes and for those who live within the Great Lakes watershed.
The SEMIS Coalition facilitates school-community partnerships to develop students as citizen-stewards of healthy ecological-social systems. This mission statement is reflected in the SEMIS guiding principles:
- A strong and viable Great Lakes ecosystem includes human communities nested within and interdependent with, other diverse living systems including water, soil, air, plant, and animal species.
- Stewardship of the Great Lakes in Southeast Michigan is defined by the ability to connect with and protect one’s “place.” This requires collaboration with others, recognizing connections to larger economic and political systems, and understanding the impact of human cultures on the ecosystems in which they are nested.
- Human cultures create beliefs and behaviors that affect social and ecological systems. Thus, social and ecological justice is interrelated and must be addressed together.
- A sustainable SE MI depends upon diversity—both human and ecological—and, thus, is best served by strong democratic and collaborative systems.
- The Great Lakes and humans in their watersheds are inextricably interconnected.
- The Great Lakes are socially, economically, and environmentally significant to the region, the nation and the planet.
This summer, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, SEMIS, and the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative will be offering the first of three annual professional development opportunities for educators from SE and NE Michigan. Over the course of the four-day workshop—funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative as a regional Center for Great Lakes Literacy initiative— 20 educators will begin a common journey learning about our Great Lakes resources through place-based education and stewardship, developing inter-regional relationships in the context of Great Lakes literacy, and implementing their new knowledge and skills in their home school districts.