The Youth Environmental Action Summit (YEAS) brings together youth from across the Lower Shore of Maryland to explore ways they can take action on local environmental issues. The Summit combines informative conference-style sessions and workshops in a fun atmosphere for a powerful day-long educational experience leading to changes in the lives, schools, and communities of young people working towards a more sustainable future.
The 2021 Summit took place virtually on Wednesday, March 31st ! Check out our agenda below. More information about the 2022 Summit will be available in late summer.
For more information or media inquiries contact:
Elise Trelegan at email@example.com
Welcome & Keynote
9:00 - 9:40AM
We'll kick off YEAS right at 9AM so please consider joining a few minutes early to feel ready. YEAS Student Ambassadors will introduce you to the event before handing the mic over to our morning keynote - Jill Pelto! Jill is a young artist and scientist who uses real data in her artwork to create compelling imagery that gets her audience thinking about complex issues like climate change. Check out some of her work on her website and be sure to drop by the Ward Museum the week of March 22nd to pick up a watercolor kit of your own for our optional lunch-time activity (more below).
Environmental Issue Workshop
9:50 - 11:00AM
When you register for YEAS, you'll indicate what environmental issues you are most interested in. We will use this information to curate sessions around these topics and you'll dive deep into what this issue looks like in our community and consider it within the contexts of environmental justice and our changing climate. Here are some of the topics and experts you can expect to learn from:
Pollinators (Liz Wist, Maryland Coastal Bays Program & Simon Lewis, JMB HS)
Water Quality & Land Use (Matt Heim, Interfaith Partners of the Chesapeake)
Food & Community Gardens (Brenda Miller, Ward Museum & Sara-elah Hoffman Wicomico HS)
Biodiversity (Harrison Jackson, Pickering Creek Audubon)
Marine Debris & Plastic Pollution (Krysta Hougen & Bart Merrick, NOAA)
Health & Environment (Demetrio Gutierrez Finley and Mairin Corasaniti, ShoreRivers)
Energy Consumption (David Christopher, DE Sea Grant)
Use & Throw Culture (Lisa Howard, 1 Year To Empowerment & Marvin Li, JMB HS)
Public Access & Green Spaces (Marc Heim, Pocomoke River State Park)
Human Impacts on Watersheds (Norah Carlos & Megan Fink, Chesapeake Bay Foundation)
Designing a Sustainable Salisbury (Salisbury University Senior Seminar Students)
11:00 - 1:00PM
Take a break from the screen, grab a bite to eat, and maybe even a breath of fresh air outside if you can. Do what you need to do to come back energized for the next session!
If you're feeling creative, try your hand at making your own Jill Pelto-inspired artwork! Pick up your own (free) watercolor kit at the Ward Museum, find inspiration in some local datasets, post your work on Instagram, and tag @y.e.a.summit to be featured on our story!
OR stay logged in and join Earth-based educator Chrissy Ehrhart for a Self-care Mindfulness Meditation from 11:15-11:45!
Action Planning Workshop
1:00 - 3:00PM
Track 1: If you submitted a project proposal by March 10th, you're in Track 1. During this session you'll be paired up with one or two other groups who also submitted proposals. You'll have the chance to interface with a relevant community leader or professional who will give you feedback and practical tips for making your project come to life. They'll challenge you to think deeper about your project and you'll work as a team to refine details so it's $$$$ ready!!
Track 2: If you didn't come to the Summit with a proposal, you're in Track 2. During this session you'll be working with other students who care about the same environmental issues as you to think about creative action ideas and maybe even start planning on one! You'll have a chance to apply for a mini-grant, if you choose, later this spring to make your project come to life.
3:00 - 3:30PM
A chance to catch your breath after an exciting day. But don't forget to log back in right at 3:30 for the awards ceremony and celebration!
Awards Ceremony & Celebration
3:30 - 4:30PM
Whether you submitted a proposal or not, you'll want to join us to wrap up an inspirational and impactful day. We'll be sharing about next steps, how to stay involved in YEAS, and celebrating! Oh, and we'll be announcing which action project proposals will receive funding for implementation.
To kick things off in this session we'll hear from our afternoon keynote speaker - Nadia Nazar! She is a climate justice organizers and founder of Zero Hour. She'll share her perspective on how YOU can become an organizer right in your own community.
Photo Source: New York Times