Posted: September 19, 2019
“Everyone’s Gulf” is a pilot project to foster a direct connection between the Gulf of Mexico’s fishery and low-income, underserved schools, beginning with Blackburn Middle School in Jackson, Mississippi. By partnering with a renowned African-American chef and conservation-minded fishermen, we aim to empower kids, parents, and school staff to become advocates for sustainable fisheries management.
Through the Environmental Defense Fund’s partnership with renowned chef and Share the Gulf Mississippi Co-Chair Chef Nick Wallace and conservation-minded fishermen, we aim to empower kids, parents and school staff to become advocates for sustainable fisheries management. Chef Wallace created Creativity Kitchen to teach kids—primarily children of color in low-income neighborhoods--and school staff about cooking with fresh ingredients and sustainable sourcing; it is well-documented that minority children are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to healthy foods.
Everyone’s Gulf will integrate sustainably caught seafood into the Creativity Kitchen curriculum and give children and parents the opportunity to experience the fishery directly with partners like the Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, Silver Dollar Charters, Gulf Wild, and others.
The Gulf’s bounty belongs to all Americans, across geographic, ethnic, socioeconomic and age differences. All children should have an opportunity to experience it and develop an understanding of the importance of protecting it for the next generation. A stewardship ethic is solidified by firsthand experiences, and children from low-income families may not have those experiences otherwise. Cooking with Chef Wallace, meeting fishermen and maybe even catching their own fish will be an immersive experience that helps build a diverse and durable coalition of advocates that look like America.