The Cape Cod region is driven by the water that surrounds us, steeped in maritime tradition and dedicated to innovation. We are a modern water-based economy that connects people to their environment, inspires learning, and exports our knowledge to the world. The Blue Economy is the fulcrum that balances our economic and environmental health, creates a regional identity focused on pride in our water and coastal resources, and supports a more balanced and sustainable year-around economy for our residents.
WaterWORKS 2023 invites high school juniors and seniors from Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket and Southern Plymouth County to a half-day program on March 14th, 2023 at the Cape Cod Community College West Barnstable Campus to learn more about the region’s blue economy and the types of career opportunities it presents. The program will include all sectors that wish to participate, including traditional marine trades, marine science and technology, commercial fishing and aquaculture, and water-based recreation.
Businesses and organizations that are directly dependent, rely upon, or are in the region because of its water resources make up the “blue economy” and constitute a significant economic driver for the region. From 2003 to 2014, the number of blue establishments increased 42%, employees increased 50%, and annual payroll increased by 111% (from $574M to $1.21B). Growth in this sector is predicted to continue into the next decade.
"The ocean and related activities are vital to our community's identity and sustenance today, as they have been for generations. If we want to continue this, we as a community need to work together to highlight the opportunities and resources we have right here on the Cape & Islands," said Bridget Burger, Director of the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network. "The way forward in the Blue Economy will require STEM knowledge and STEM skills. Students and teachers who attend this event each year have benefitted from seeing and experiencing firsthand what this looks like from our blue economy exhibitors. That is what this event is all about--keeping the door open for the next generation and igniting a spark of curiosity about our ocean and its resources, and inviting them to be a part of the solution. We are thrilled to host and co-sponsor this event at 4Cs. "
The event begins with a brief assembly which introduces students to the blue economy that surrounds them, what it is and how it is a part of their daily lives. Expedition Leaders (college students) will then lead pre-assigned groups of students through a series of “islands,” each one focused on a specific sector of the blue economy. These islands will expose students to the industry and its opportunities by allowing students to view and, in some cases, participate interactively. Industry representatives (trade organizations and businesses) from each sector will have booths to exhibit their field and talk with students.
WaterWORKS 2023 is organized by Expedition Blue—the blue economy initiative of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Community College and the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network. The new Frank and Maureen Wilkens Science Center Building at the Cape Cod Community College will be one of the destinations for this blue economy tour. The day will conclude with the students gathering for lunch and a wrap-up before heading back to school. Registration is currently open for schools, blue economy exhibitors and sponsors at https://www.expeditionblue.org/waterworks-2023. Email Rachel Dragos at email@example.com with any questions.