Margaret H. Sedlecky
Baldwin County Board of Education
Fairhope, Alabama

Ms. Margaret Sedlecky, 25-year veteran teacher of the Baldwin County Public Schools in Alabama, instills the environmental value of wetlands in the minds of students, teachers, and the public. For the past 15 years, she has served as the education coordinator for the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. With the reserve as her classroom, Ms. Sedlecky conducts hands-on environmental education programs for more than 3,000 K-12 students annually. After Hurricanes Ivan in 2004 and Katrina in 2005, Ms. Sedlecky organized teachers and conservation organizations to plan coastal restoration efforts; from this endeavor, the Baldwin County Grasses in Classes (BCGIC) program was born. As the BCGIC program coordinator, Ms. Sedlecky received over $100,000 in grants, directed the planting of 40,000 native plants, managed the restoration of 15 acres of coastal habitats, and logged more than 1,500 hours of work from student volunteers. She has conducted two EstuaryLive broadcasts, which are virtual fieldtrip broadcast online from the reserve that have allowed students across the country to ask questions and receive answers from local estuary experts. She currently oversees the development of Estuaries 101, a national middle school curriculum that will be housed on the National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s website, Ms. Sedlecky spearheaded an effort to develop guidelines for Baldwin County schools to prevent the growing of invasive plants on school campuses, which raised awareness and educated teachers and student about environmental stewardship. Ms. Sedlecky has received several local, state, and regional awards in recognition of her diligence in protecting Alabama’s coastal habitats.