The 6th Annual Save Water, Drink Wine fundraiser for Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA, featuring wine and food, is Saturday, Feb. 10, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Barn Nursery. Guests will enjoy regional wines and tapas from local restaurants, a silent auction, and opportunities to learn about the waterways that run throughout the area.
Caribbean SEA (Student Environmental Alliance) is a non-profit, educational and environmental organization whose mission is to empower students to lead their communities to protect and restore their local environment. This organization, founded and directed by Mary Beth Sutton, works both in the Caribbean and in Tennessee through collaborative watershed projects. TenneSEA, the local Caribbean SEA affiliate, has long taught area kids to care for water through programs including Kids for Clean Water Camp and Stream Teams.
Currently, the Red Bank Elementary School Stream Team is making an impact on their local watershed. Mountain Creek, which begins on Signal Mountain, runs down Walden’s Ridge and through the heart of Red Bank. This stream is home to a diverse population of fish and macroinvertebrates as well as kids of all ages splashing in the water during the summer. Due to development and the extremes in water levels from rain events, parts of the stream bank are eroding into the creek. While this might not be noticeable in an unpopulated area, it’s very noticeable when the carpool line for Red Bank Elementary School is dangerously close to falling into the creek.
Many people would see this as a problem for someone else to fix, but not Ms. Sutton. She gathered a team of engineers, construction workers and students to solve the problem. With the help of the 5th grade Red Bank Elementary Stream Team, engineers came up with a solution to stabilize the creek bank. The stabilization project, led by engineers at Propex, was completed in early January. The students spent several months observing the problem, brainstorming solutions, observing the work being done and will get to help replant native plants along the bank this spring to complete the restoration.
Stories like this are made possible through educational programs provided by TenneSEA. To help this program and other clean water initiatives join Save Water, Drink Wine. Purchase tickets for $45 at www.caribbean-sea.org/save-water or for $50 at the door.