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SUP Radio Interviews CBA's Dr. Sarah Schindele

October 8, 2013 by SoWal Staff

Dr. Sarah Schindele of Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) recently joined Leslie Kolovich on SUP Radio Show to discuss her work, the history and mission of CBA, and environmental and educational programs currently underway to promote the health of our diverse waterways of the Choctawhatchee (chock-tuh-hatch-ee) basin watershed. 

Dr. Schindele has worked with the CBA since 2005. She manages volunteer water quality monitoring programs, coastal dune lakes initiatives, and is involved in restoration and education programs, as well as research efforts in the Choctawhatchee basin watershed.

Sarah received her Master’s degree in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University in 2004 and completed her doctorate in Education at the University of West Florida in 2012. Her doctoral research focused on the intersection of nature and spirituality in Northwest Florida. In addition, Sarah is a certified Florida Master Naturalist. 

Recently, Sarah has worked closely with Master Gardeners of Walton County to develop a Native Plant Demonstration Garden and Trail located at the South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC). The native plant trail, a joint project of Walton County Master Gardeners, CBA, and NWFSC, is open for all to enjoy on foot or bike.

The CBA was created in 1996 when concerned citizens came together with representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), along with other agencies and environmental groups to discuss water and environmental quality. The sharing of concerns and ecosystem management sparked an alliance that is now called the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance at Northwest Florida Community College. The CBA provides opportunities for citizens, educators, and technical experts to promote the health of the Choctawhatchee basin watershed.

In the interview, Sarah discusses several programs provided by the CBA, such as public awareness and collaboration, water monitoring of our coastal dune lakes and bay, restoration, and educational programs with a curriculum about our local natural resources in K-12 creating a community of good stewards of our resources.

Specific programs and activities of the CBA include:

  • Monitoring of water quality of bay, tributaries and coastal lakes. Also, monitoring of seagrass, shorelines and oyster reefs.
  • Restoration of living shorelines, stormwater compliance, and oyster reef habitats.
  • Education in the community and in schools, such as Grasses in Classes, to develop young water stewards, who from a young age become aware of their local ecosystems.
  • Research is a key aspect of the CBA assisting with projects to collect information to better understand the natural resources within the basin.
  • Volunteers, groups, grants and agencies are all integral to the implementation and success of CBA programs. 

The CBA will be a part of World Paddle For The Planet at Lake Powell on October 10-13. Team CBA will paddle Lake Powell for 24 hours alongside others dedicated to raising awareness of the worldwide need to conserve and preserve our oceans and inland waterways. The 24-hour paddle is one part of the World Paddle For The Planet eco-festival, which will take place over four days to benefit Mother Ocean’s Expedition Florida 500. Stop by CBA's expo tent on Friday at Camp Helen State Park. 

For more information on CBA and to get involved by volunteering or donating, please visit www.basinalliance.org.

Enjoy this SUP Radio podcast now with Leslie Kolovich and Dr. Sarah Schindele, sponsored by SoWal.com.


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Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

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