PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Peekskill Middle Schoolers are taking part in the 2014 Wheelabrator Symposium for Enviornment and Education.
Students will participate in the 20th annual symposium and study the impact of urban and industrial development on the health of the Hudson River. Renewable energy provider Wheelabrator Technologies is partnering with third-generation ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the educational program, "which has inspired thousands of middle school students to become environmental leaders in their communities," according to a press release.
“The 20th anniversary of the Wheelabrator Symposium is a milestone that is truly worth commemorating, and I am thrilled to be a part of a program that recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship and encourages innovative thinking among young people,” said Cousteau, first grandson of legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. “I commend Wheelabrator and its employees for providing middle school students with the resources and opportunities to become active environmental leaders in their communities.”
The theme of the 2014 Wheelabrator Symposium, “Connecting to the Oceans,” is designed to "engage students in research, scientific study and community projects linking the quality of the local environment to the health of the seas around us," according to the release.
For their 2014 Symposium project, Peekskill Middle School students plan to examine the effect that growing urbanization, industrialization and development has had on the Hudson River Estuary Watershed and how the activities have altered the water quality and ecosystems directly around Peekskill as well as the New York Harbor area over time, according to the release. Their efforts will be supported by employees from the Wheelabrator Westchester plant in Peekskill.
“This program underscores Wheelabrator’s long-standing dedication to sustainability and helps to ensure a future where the environment benefits from the next generation’s balanced decision-making, ground-breaking ideas and community outreach,” Cousteau said. “I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for the environment from Aquarius with the students during Mission 31.”
Peekskill Middle School students will travel to South Florida this month to present their project to a panel of Wheelabrator employees, educators and environmental experts at the annual four-day Symposium, which is expected to draw 150 students from participating schools.
“Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond our day-to-day operations and includes corporate social responsibility programs designed to foster environmental awareness, education and active community engagement,” said Mark Weidman, president of Wheelabrator Technologies. “For 20 years, the Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education has been a cornerstone of our efforts to help build sustainable communities and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders. We applaud the work of our employees on this program and we look forward to following Fabien Cousteau on his pioneering Mission 31 exploration this year.”