Successful ending of the Ventura River Action Network (V-RAN) Program with awards for students

Finalists at the Awards Ceremony at the Museum of Ventura County.

After six months of involving 750 students from Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) in the monitoring and restoration of the Ventura River and its tributaries in support of the work of many environmental organizations, the last three months of the V-RAN program focused on students conducting energy, water, or waste audits of their school campuses, or researching the issues around the removal of the Matilija Dam, then crafting and submitting project proposals to reduce the environmental footprint of their schools or advocating for the removal of the dam.

Students submitted 78 projects which were reviewed by a judging panel for the first phase. The top 16 finalists moved on to present their proposals in person for the second and final phase to an expert panel of judges at the 7th Energy Efficiency to Mitigate Climate Change and Ocean Acidification (EECCOA) Challenge Award Ceremony on May 5th, 2022 held at the Museum of Ventura County.

The young authors of the top environmental business proposals in each category were awarded cash or in-kind prizes by the Ventura Unified School District. Cash prizes ranged from $500-$200, and in-kind prizes included tickets to the Channel Islands.

The MERITO Foundation would like to thank V-RAN program partners and sponsors that including UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science, and Ventura Water for their support, and all the event sponsors that helped with our culminating event. We are ready for the launch of the 2022-2023 V-RAN program!

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