An Evaluation of Aquatic Resource Education Programs in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

This report summarizes results from Phase One of an on-going evaluation of the Aquatic Resource Education Programs (AREPs) in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands (for the purposes of the comparative analyses of this study, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will be referred to as a “state”). This phase, which concluded in July 1998, involved performing an evaluability assessment of the program, including the generation of sub-components for each of 3 AREP goals (awareness, appreciation, participation). There were 4 activities in this phase: collecting and reading each of the state proposals, generating a matrix that identifies program subcomponents for each state and relates them to the 3 AREP goals, identifying commonalities across the state program sub-components, and defining generic sub-components for the AREP goals. Individual state analyses yielded interesting results: some programs are innovative and may serve as models, some have a unique approach, several use Project Aquatic WILD as a major part of their AREPs, almost all states use fishing clinics, many are integrating technology in their AREP awareness component, and some have unique site-based, indigenous programs. The analysis of the generic subcomponents of the AREP goals led to several conclusions: 18 generic sub-components for the 3 goals were identified—8 awareness sub-components, 5 appreciation subcomponents, and 5 participation sub-components. No state AREP addressed all 18 subcomponents, and several addressed only a few of the 18 sub-components.

Starting page
Ending page