Here’s the news release: Smart Coast has been on the forefront of Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School.
Mobile, Alabama (January 29, 2014) In a promising addition to its programs advancing conservation, the Alabama Coastal Foundation has been asked to lead the signature programs previously conducted by Smart Coast. Formed in 2000 and now mapping its dissolution, Smart Coast is an award-winning South Alabama non-profit that helps people transform their communities into healthy and flourishing places to live, work, and raise families.
In December 2013, the Smart Coast Board of Directors asked the Alabama Coastal Foundation to consider leading Smart Coast’s two major initiatives: Healthy Coastal Communities and the Green Coast Council. The ACF Board approved the concept on December 18 and the organizations have worked together to develop a transition plan. The effective date of the transition will be February 28, 2014 at 8:00 am Central Time.
Smart Coast’s Healthy Coastal Communities initiative implements safe routes to school programs and advocates for Complete Streets. The Green Coast Council is a sustainable business forum that was created in 2010 to promote business practices that demonstrate environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social responsibility. These initiatives are aligned with Alabama Coastal Foundation’s mission and will be added to the Foundation’s core undertakings.
Observed Smart Coast Board President Pamela Ramos – Executive Director of Mobile’s MBDA Business Center, “We are heartened to see Smart Coast’s work moved forward by such a well-organized team with positive spirit throughout. When we recognized Smart Coast needed additional capacity to conduct our signature programs, it was determined that strong mission alignment existed with the Alabama Coastal Foundation. Good beginnings deserve strong follow-through, and the Alabama Coastal Foundation is prepared to provide quality support for these programs.”
ACF Board President Tom Ward – Professor and History Department Chair at Spring Hill College, stated, “We are humbled to join forces with Smart Coast. As part of the transition, several Smart Coast Board members have agreed to join ACF’s Board and Advisory Council. We ask everyone involved with Smart Coast in the past to help ACF nurture and grow these programs by sharing their time, skills, and resources.”
When approached by Smart Coast, ACF Executive Director Mark Berte was honored that the Alabama Coastal Foundation was considered to help lead those programs. He stipulated that Smart Coast co-founder Charlene Lee would need to be a part of the work moving forward in order for it to be successful. Berte said, “I am pleased to announce that Charlene will join the ACF staff at the end of next month to complete her AmeriCorps VISTA service while providing leadership for the Healthy Coastal Communities Initiative. I look forward to working with everyone as we make a positive impact on coastal Alabama through these programs.”
The ACF uses an education-based approach to conservation: to find the solution, you must understand the problem. The ACF’s education programs include Gulf Coast Bay Buddy (kindergarten through fourth grades); the Coastal Kid’s Quiz (which is designed for fifth graders); Mobile Bay Estuary Corps (a middle school program for students who are interested in environmental science as a career path); and CASL: the Coastal Alabama Service Learning program for high school students. To learn more about ACF programs, become a member, or volunteer your time, visit the ACF web site:www.joinACF.org