NAMEPA, shipper connect Texas students with mariners

(WESTON, Conn.) — The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) has included NYK Bulkship Atlantic’s Atlantic Elm in its Adopt A Ship program, with the ship communicating with the students at Texas City High School.

The Adopt A Ship program fosters a unique educational experience for students as they track the vessel’s progress and learn firsthand about life at sea. The program involves senior officers on board a vessel engaging in weekly email exchanges with classrooms through their designated teacher for a duration of six to eight weeks.

Students are provided with a world map featuring tradelines to track their ship’s journey, enhancing their understanding of geography, environmental protection, marine operations, communication skills, and workforce opportunities.

The bulk carrier Atlantic Elm. Kouremetis photo

“NYK is committed to sustainable, safe transportation that brings value to society. Opening a window to young people in order to give them greater understanding of other cultures, industry, geography and our oceans, and how we are connected with each other and our earth, is consistent with this part of our mission,” said Cate Moran, senior chartering manager, NYK Bulkship Atlantic. “We anticipate this interaction will spark excitement and curiosity about the world we all share and nurture their natural desire to learn and explore. Further, the exchange gives our seafarers the chance to share the experience of life at sea with teachers and students with whom they would not normally get to correspond.”

The Adopt A Ship program serves as an educational tool, creating and fostering the awareness of shipping and its impact on our daily lives. By connecting classrooms with mariners, students will gain insights into the life of a seafarer, the pivotal role of maritime in global trade, and a real-world perspective on the maritime industry.

Established in 2006 by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, the Adopt a Ship program aims to bridge the gap between students and seafarers. Since its inception, the program has expanded beyond its roots in Cyprus to encompass Greece, India, the Philippines and Poland.

“Our industry is experiencing a mariner shortfall that is only expected to get worse,” said NAMEPA CEO Carleen Lyden Walker. “The Adopt a Ship program is an excellent tool to educate students about our industry and encourage them to join us.”

“Texas City ISD’s maritime program is thrilled to join the Adopt a Ship program by NAMEPA. This initiative reflects our dedication to teaching students about environmental stewardship and maritime sustainability in a more hands-on way through real experiences,” said Capt. Nate Swerdlin, maritime teacher at Texas City High School. “Through this program, our students will connect with the crew of the M/V Atlantic Elm, fostering a valuable relationship. This interaction will raise awareness about marine environmental concerns, safety at sea and other important topics. Thanks to NAMEPA, our students will gain firsthand experience and knowledge, sparking their interest in maritime careers and environmental conservation.”

Interested in participating in the Adopt A Ship program as an educator or enrolling your ship? Click here.


The North American Marine Environment Protection Association is a maritime industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. For more information, visit

– North American Marine Environment Protection Association

By Professional Mariner Staff