What are Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers?
Coastal America is an action-oriented, results-driven process aimed at restoring and preserving vital coastal ecosystems and addressing our most critical environmental issues. The Coastal America Partnership was launched in 1991 and formalized in 1992 with a Memorandum of Understanding signed by nine sub-cabinet level agency representatives. These representatives committed their agencies to work together and integrate their efforts with state, local and nongovernmental activities.
The Coastal America Partnership utilizes a number of tools and programs to facilitate its mission. These include the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (CWRP) and International Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (ICWRP), the network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELCs), and the Coastal America Partnership Awards program.
In 1996 the Coastal America Partnership established a network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers. The network creates a partnership between certain federal agencies and marine education centers. Most Learning Centers are aquariums, but marine science centers and laboratories are also part of this dynamic network. The network is constantly growing and evolving to address our nation's top coastal and marine issues. Today, there are 24 Learning Centers across the United States, Mexico and Canada working together to educate and involve the public in protecting our nation's coastal and marine ecosystems.