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County: Essex

Town: Essex

Seaside Sustainability, Inc. is a charitable non-profit 50l(c)3 organization that offers experiential programming opportunities through a lens of environmental stewardship. Seaside’s founders, Eric Magers and Emily Arthur, design interesting and engaging outdoor activities that foster lifelong personal health and guide youth to grow to become leaders and role models in their communities. Since its establishment, Seaside Sustainability has reached hundreds of north shore youth! Beginning with personal health and the mindset that taking care of oneself extends directly to the environment, Seaside Sustainability programs encourage participants to nurture a relationship with local land and seascapes. Their model is structured on the premise that environmental challenges are rooted in the misaligned priorities of modern society, and that these environmental problems are an effect of a much larger issue. They address this by introducing youth not just to the problems that are developing out of environmental degradation, but the resources to develop skills, innovate solutions, and to serve as role models in their communities. Seaside Sustainability is unique in that the organization offers a variety of program opportunities throughout every season of the year. Weaved into these programs are valuable skills and knowledge such as research, hands-on field work, critical thinking & problem solving skills, as well as team building, collaboration and leadership opportunities. There are even some “sports” opportunities in Seaside’s repertoire, which are all “taught and led” with a focus on the parallels between personal and environmental health. Seaside sustains itself through limited participation fees, community-oriented fundraisers, extensive grant writing, and some private donations. Diverse partner organizations have guided program development by serving as advisors, providing equipment and expertise, and presenting collaboration opportunities for grant writing and other sustainability initiatives. Seaside Sustainability is composed of a small, dedicated, and streamlined staff with over 85 years of combined experience in the fields of Biology, Science, Backcountry Medicine, Training and Development, Business Entrepreneurship, and Experiential Education. Unified by a shared passion for engagement with the natural world, participants are inspired to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and draw their own conclusions. As emphasized by the Association of Experiential Learning, Seaside Sustainability programs provide the opportunity to develop one’s learning potential beyond mere concepts and procedures; this hands-on approach challenges actively-engaged learners to take initiative, make connections, practice authentic reflection and to construct meaning from novel experiences. Applying critical thinking and communication skills in a collaborative setting, Seaside’s investigation-based programs engage participants with essential skills that will empower them for the rest of their lives.

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