The Floating Classroom Joins CTA

The Center for Transformative Action is pleased to announce that it recently accepted the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom as a new project partner! The Floating Classroom was established following the adoption of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan, and operated from 2005-2014 as a project of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Inter-Municipal Organization.  Since its inception, the Floating Classroom has been guided by a volunteer committee, according to the following values:

  • Community:  We prioritize community concerns and local resources. 
  • Local Learning:  We focus on local ecosystems and community services.
  • Direct Experience:  We emphasize active, hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Equal Access:  We provide opportunities regardless of culture or income.    
  • Citizen Science:  Program participants generate and share useful data. 

The Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom uses two programming venues for students, as well as adults, in the Finger Lakes. 

  • It features educational cruises and internships on Cayuga Lake aboard the MV Haendel, a 45-foot, commercially licensed vessel operated by Ithaca Boat Tours, LLC.  This collaboration serves approximately 2000 students, from 5th grade to college, annually. 
  • It also provides equipment, programming and coordination for "Trout in the Classroom" at schools throughout the region.  Students manage aquatic ecosystems through the school year, raise fingerling trout, and release them to local streams during spring expeditions.

Its goal is to offer platforms for learning and exploration that would otherwise not be available or affordable for regional schools and community organizations.  In order to remove financial barriers for its clients, the Floating Classroom provides scholarships to cover the cost of programs on a sliding scale.  It relies on private foundations and grant programs, as well as private donations from our community, to maintain this Community Access scholarship fund. 


For more information, contact Bill Foster.