In 2004, with the assistance of Carilec, Lucelec and TVIG, the Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance (CaribbeanSEA) was founded to work in Caribbean nations, engaging young people to protect and restore their watersheds. In 2006, we added programming in the Southeastern United States, specifically in the Tennessee Valley, with similar goals: to create communities who take ownership of the waterways in their own backyards. This chapter became known as the Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance (TenneSEA).

Throughout our history, we have collaborated with hundreds of partners to educate thousands of community members about the repercussions their daily actions have on our waterways.

While environmental education is a huge component of what we do, we conduct restoration projects as well. We have orchestrated and installed numerous infrastructure, including a constructed wetlands for sewage treatment, biogas digesters and compost stations for pig waste, and green infrastructure for decreasing damage from stormwater.

In April of 2019, on our 15th anniversary, we made the decision to rebrand to WaterWays, making it easier for people to identify what we do through our name. The logo was designed to show that we as humans are the most crucial component in improving our water, and sometimes that takes getting our hands dirty.

For those of us at WaterWays, it has been a long journey – we are devoted to inspiring individuals and their communities to improve water quality at a local level. We believe that empowerment through environmental education and positive action is the key component to fixing the massive issues we have created for ourselves through the mismanagement of our precious natural resources.

We help people reconnect with their waterways, fostering an understanding that every action, no matter how large or how small, makes a difference.

  • 2006

    Dominica Environmental Caretakers

    We spent two weeks with Dominica Community High School teachers Bertilia Bethel-Victor and Nara Winston and nearly 30 of their students, kicking off their Environmental Caretakers program! The teachers designed a program which integrated environmental goals into their curriculum, including field trips and exercises, sponsored by Dominica Electricity Services and the National Marine Sanctuaries White Water 2 Blue Water program. SEA staff, with the assistance of forestry officers and the Scott’s Head/ Soufriere Marine Reserve instructed the students in Ridge to Reef watershed conservation, and they even learned to snorkel! The RainForest Aerial Tram taught about the rain forest and provided a tram ride for the students. As part of their program, the students grew trees in their newly constructed shade house, with the goal of using them to replant areas along the river to reduce erosion and evaporation. Vanessa Prevost of the SUN Foundation provided composting training, and the students set a long term goal of creating a composting program for the Roseau Valley.

  • 2005

    Laborie Water Education

    Collaborating with the Laborie Community Development Organization, we taught children how to test the water as well as create a model sewage treatment wetland at a public toilet beside the bay. Students learned to snorkel, and through this skill were able to see firsthand the importance of protecting the reefs. Funding from Project AWARE and UN Environment Program were crucial in the success of this program. 

    2005

  • 2004

    Caribbean SEA begins in Ciceron, St. Lucia

    Thanks to sponsorship of Lucelec (St. Lucia Electricity Services, Ltd), students at Ciceron Secondary School explored their watershed and their island home, learning the relationship of actions in a watershed to the health of the coral reefs. From plastic litter to sewage, sediment, and agricultural chemicals, these students engaged in hands-on lessons to alleviate impacts from these issues. The school’s Principal, Ron Isaac, commented that this program also got the kids out of their home communities and instilled in them a sense of national pride! John Charlery, from Lucelec, summed up their support with this, “At the end of the day, if we destroy the environment, our entire existence is at risk.” Our students received a Biodiversity Award for this program from the Government of St. Lucia.