CHEM supports NIU's Alternative Spring Break program and its gulf shore environmental preservation efforts

A group of 22 students from NIU, participating in the Alternative Spring Break program, traveled to Niceville, Florida, to volunteer during their week off in March 2012. The group worked with an organization called Community Collaborations to connect with different environmental projects in the area. They bagged 30 tons of oyster beds to promote growth of natural oyster reefs which are a main staple in gulf shore ecosystems. They also helped clean Florida panhandle parks and potted native sea grasses to be planted along shoreline to prevent soil erosion as a natural alternative to sea walls.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry loaned 30 pairs of safety glasses to the group.  Lab Manager Andy Small said, "This was a great investment.They brought all the glasses back plus an extra pair!"

More information about the Alternative Spring Break program as well as the 2012 opportunities and destinations can be found on the program's website.