Flotsam & Jetsam Vessels Back in the Water

”School” isn’t winding down for high school students cleaning up debris from Cuyahoga River, Inner Harbor

Cleveland – May 30, 2024 –Course work may be winding down for some high school students, but not for those students who help remove floating debris from the Cuyahoga River and Inner Harbor using a pair of specially designed tandem vessels, Flotsam and Jetsam. Two to three Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School students help with the clean-up three to four days a week after school and throughout the summer.

The Port of Cleveland contracts with Argonaut to captain the vessels and work with students. Argonaut’s mission is to build adventurers through immersive learning experiences that challenge assumptions and shift norms for growing empowered talent in aerospace and maritime fields. Argonaut co-leads the Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Argonaut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded by D. Andrew Ferguson and Douglas McConnell. Argonaut’s goal is to engage young people in high-quality educational experiences, and increase the number of youths who enter careers in the fields of maritime and aerospace. The students also help with mechanical, fueling and safety inspections and operations of Flotsam and Jetsam.

The partnership with the high school is growing, and the Port is in the midst of developing the Maritime Learning and Resource Center for the school. “Creating a learning space for these students is the next logical step for this immersive learning experience,” said William Friedman, Port president and CEO.

“What I’m proud of is that the Port of Cleveland had the willingness and desire to give students real world experiences on the water,” said Ferguson of Argonaut. “It’s about empowering the students to give back to their city, their river, their harbor.”

Flotsam & Jetsam take about 300,000 pounds of debris out of the water each season, and also help with special events including River Sweep, Blazing Paddles, rowing regattas and the July 4th boat parade.

Flotsam and jetsam are terms that describe two types of marine debris associated with vessels. Flotsam is defined as debris in the water that was not deliberately thrown overboard, often as a result from a shipwreck or accident. Jetsam describes debris that was deliberately thrown overboard by a crew of a ship in distress, most often to lighten the ship’s load. The word flotsam derives from the French word floter, to float. Jetsam is a shortened word for jettison.
To see Flotsam & Jetsam in action: https://bit.ly/3MyZ01y
CONTACT: Nancy Lesic at 216.392.9634 or email nlesic@lesiccamper.com or Betsy O’Connell, 216.702.4331

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