The Frazier Family Foundation is a proud supporter of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Marine Biology research program. The foundation partnered with the university to offer educational field trips aboard the Texas Floating Classroom, providing hundreds of elementary school children with an immersive experience in marine science. This funding contributed to conserving local dolphins, while offering students in the Coastal Bend a hands-on learning experience.
Through this once-in-a-lifetime field trip, students from the Flour Bluff Independent School District Ocean Program and the Texas Floating Classroom had the chance to witness the critical importance of protecting marine life and coastal resilience efforts in real-time.
“Coastal resilience is one of the areas of impact for the Frazier Family Foundation. Because we know it isn’t just about us. It's about the collective future of our community. We want to contribute to the protection, improvement, and sharing of our incredible natural resources with the next generations to witness the wonder of our marine life,” said Garrett Frazier, Vice President of the Frazier Family Foundation.
Dr. Dara Orbach, a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, who facilitated and organized this unbelievable experience, has dedicated her life to educating and encouraging the next generation of ocean advocates. “The goal of this partnership is to forge mentor relationships and to help inspire students to pursue higher education and research,” said Dr. Orbach. “Because of the pandemic, these students have had very few opportunities to take field trips, so they are especially excited to be here today.”
With project funding from the Frazier Family Foundation, Dr. Orbach and her team led 6th-grade students on a search for dolphins through Corpus Christi Bay. The research vessel, the R/V Archimedes, launched from the Corpus Christi Marina, fully equipped with scientific equipment for onboard study and accurate observation of the marine environment. Students observed dolphins in their natural habitat and had the opportunity to collect research data that will be used to monitor and conserve Coastal Bend dolphins.
Through the generous donation by the Frazier Family Foundation, the research program is able to provide opportunities for more than 100 Coastal Bend children, along with excursion opportunities for more than 200 Flour Bluff students, as well as groups from the Texas State Aquarium and the Texas Zoo. In addition, the partnership supported graduate student research on dolphin distribution patterns and provided two honor students with the infrastructure and equipment for their undergraduate field courses.
After pursuing significant investments over the last 40 years in Corpus Christi, the Frazier Family is shifting its focus to the future growth of the Coastal Bend community. "We feel that the Frazier Family Foundation can help pass the torch to a new generation. Our love for the Coastal Bend runs deep. We’ll continue supporting these tremendous projects around the community, such as the Texas Floating Classroom,” said Lynn Frazier, President of the Frazier Family Foundation.