Environmentally literate citizens capable of making informed decisions are essential to successfully managed fisheries. Fisheries-focused environmental education programs may help build environmental literacy, but experimental evaluations are needed to determine the effectiveness of fisheries education programs. We begin addressing this need with a study of “Shad in the Classroom.” The program engages students in American Shad Alosa sapidissima restoration through rearing and releasing fry. We used a pre/post, treatment (n = 777)/control (n = 57) evaluation during the 2016–2017 academic year. Participation in the program created large improvements in American Shad knowledge between tests (P < 0.001). All students gained knowledge, but African Americans (P < 0.001) and students identifying as “other” races and ethnicities (P = 0.003) fell behind their peers. Shad in the Classroom is an effective tool for teaching children about fisheries management but, may help ethnic minorities the least, suggesting a need to tailor content for diverse students.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Nature and Landscape Conservation