By Bruce James, WISE Executive Director
The Copper River is a very dynamic watershed and is the primary reason many people visit or live in Southcentral Alaska. Understanding the forces that control this ecosystem is a daunting challenge and someday soon the younger generation will be the decision-makers. In an effort to help this generation become enlightened stewards, the Copper River Watershed Project, Prince William Sound Science Center and Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment (WISE) have developed a program to provide the opportunity for a select group of high school students to learn about the Copper River in way that few ever experience. The youth learn about salmon, forests, glaciers, wildlife, climate change, and the entire watershed ecosystem. The highlight of the program is a multi-day raft trip down the Copper River itself, providing participants with a chance to get to know the river from a first-hand, personal perspective.
Perhaps a parent of a previous participant summed up the program’s value best by saying, “The benefits from exchanges of ideas and friendship between quality people in the program, coupled with the educational aspect, make this a winner for all involved. I hope this opportunity will be available for many years to come.”
Much of the support for this unique opportunity has come from the generosity of communities along the river. However, funding for this year’s event is short and the scope of the program may have to be reduced. You can help, with donations of time or money.
Further information and ways to sponsor a Copper River Ambassador are available at www.wise-edu.org or www.pwssc.org, or by calling 907-822-3282. Please help us continue this exceptional educational experience by making a donation today.
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.