SeaBus - Mobile Educational Program

SeaBus - Mobile Educational Program

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Last Update: August 13, 2012

SeaBus aims to:
1. Promote awareness of the links between food production, food choices, health and well-being.
2. Encourage smart seafood choices and purchases.
3. Support closed containment fish farming and synergistic agricultural methods.

SeaBus will operate aquaponics inside a refurbished school bus. Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines traditional aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. In aquaculture the fish waste produced increases toxicity to the fish therefore it must be discarded. However in hydroponics, by-products from aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as fertilizer or nutrients. Aquaponics is the combination of both systems.

Once the aquaponics is operating, educators will drive it across Canada, stopping at farmer markets, town events and major retailers in the Summer of 2013.

SeaBus believes that:
• Food is a foundation for community engagement.
• Small-scale urban agriculture projects foster meaningful dialogue about the link between food and well-being.
• Such projects enable individuals to make knowledgeable healthy lifestyle choices.
• Urban agriculture projects keep participants at both ends of the age spectrum emotionally engaged and socially active.
• Approaches to learning that facilitate engagement and understanding, lend themselves to knowledge sharing.
• Effective knowledge-sharing will inspire others to undertake like-minded community-based projects.

Type: for profit

The Problem

Aquaculture under the right conditions can be a viable part of the solution to the increasing pressure on our oceans’ resources (seachoice.org). Best management practices and greater awareness can stop detrimental fish farming conditions that are directly impacting our marine ecosystems and negatively affecting our oceans. SeaBus aims to increase the public’s demand for sustainable aquaculture farming practices to conserve and protect our marine environments. For this purpose, SeaBus encourages Canadians to choose high quality, disease-free seafood that is grown in eco-friendly, closed containment environments. As the increase in sustainable aquaculture production enters into the North American markets, buyers need to be educated to ensure that they make smart purchasing decisions.

The Solution

SeaBus is a refurbished school bus that operates a mobile energy efficient aquaponics system. Being mobile, SeaBus will take its message to “choose sustainable seafood” from British Columbia to Nova Scotia during the summer of 2013. By situating SeaBus in grocery store parking lots, customers can hop in, learn about eco-friendly aquaculture practices and the benefits associated with purchasing and consuming sustainable seafood. In addition, SeaBus will promote sustainable seafood within towns and cities, and always maintain an open door policy. SeaBus is a fun educational tool to help individuals gain a more meaningful understanding of how consuming sustainable seafood can help conserve our oceans and marine environments.

Example

SeaBus has two main goals: 1. Facilitate learning, and 2. Cultivate greater understanding of what sustainable seafood is. By driving SeaBus across Canada, sustainable aquaculture farming methods, and sutainable seafood will become topics of conversations through in-person interactive education on the refurbished school bus. The school bus will be purchased and refurbished in Winter 2012 and the aquaponics system will be designed and built in early 2013. This ensures operation runs smoothly and early hiccups are dealt with accordingly ahead of time. Marketing and educational materials will be produced in addition, to a website that showcases the interactive cross-Canada tour and can be a focal point for community conversations around the related bigger issues. With demonstrated success, SeaBus can continue to foster increased awareness of the importance of choosing sustainable seafood in other cities and towns in both Canada and potentially, the U.S.

Budget: $10,000 - $50,000

Marketplace

SeaBus is taking a fresh approach to educating individuals about sustainable seafood. Through this approach, SeaBus is raising the bar, implementing a new enterprise to tackle some of our world’s growing concerns related to ocean conservancy and traditional fish farming practices. There are many organizations across Canada producing education programs related to food, however, these organizations are not developing mobile programs on a bus. Therefore, SeaBus is a) different in scale b) unique in look and c) mobile. One source of inspiration for SeaBus is a similar project based in Salt Lake City, Utah called the Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB). The GULB launched by Shawn Peterson has grown to be a city-known education urban agriculture project. Deborah & Shawn are sharing knowledge.

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Need

SeaBus needs your funding assistance to help develop the social enterprise arm of SeaMarket, a service consulting business that provides assistance to aquaculture and agriculture producers.

SeaBus aims to:
1. Promote awareness of the links between food production, food choices,...

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Shaun Mavronicolas profile img
Tue, 08/14/2012 - 16:53

Hi Deborah, sent you some info via the "+ CONNECT", not sure if it worked?