The MBSTP Salmon & Trout Education Program (STEP) was designed, created, and operated by Program volunteers Barry Burt, Matt McCaslin, and others in the late 1980s. The impetus was their mutual love for our local watersheds and their salmon and steelhead. From San Bruno to Gonzales, up to 100 classrooms annually employed the high quality curriculum and incubation of steelhead eggs to inspire a new generation of conservationists. MBSTP facilitated the operation and growth of the Program at elementary and high school levels.
The purpose of this program is to develop an awareness of aquatic science and watershed conservation through hands-on, immersive, and inspiring learning experiences. To this end, the project developed and distributed the comprehensive curriculum to teachers completing the MBSTP Teacher Training. This in-depth training in classroom and riverbank settings gave the teachers a deep understanding of how to apply STEP in their own classrooms. MBSTP provided continuing technical and logistical support for the classroom aquarium egg incubation and riverside fry release. At a rate of around 3,000 students each year, nearly 100,000 young people have been inspired by STEP since its inception. Through hands-on and in-field learning of aquatic sciences, students invariably become emotionally bonded to their local watershed, supporting MBSTP’s mission of conservation outreach and education. Many STEP graduates have gone into careers in aquatic resource conservation.
The Program was interrupted in 2015 because of permitting needs, but is currently in redevelopment with an new program launch planned for 2019.