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About Bayfront Maritime Center

The Bayfront Maritime Center (BMC) is a not for profit community based organization. BMC’s mission is: to design and implement hands-on, maritime themed, educational, vocational and recreational activities for the community in a universally accessible waterfront facility. In 1998, Richard Eisenberg (Executive Director) and another local sailing enthusiast founded the Bayfront Maritime Center and since then BMC has provided community members access to the region’s most valuable resources, the protected waters of Presque Isle Bay, which is the best natural harbor on the Great Lakes, and Lake Erie. Innovative and effective hands-on programs, aligned with Pennsylvania Department of Education Standards were created and implemented and include sailing, boat building, paddling, rowing, navigation and environmental science. Experiencing Lake Erie waters first hand can be truly life-changing. BMC’s students represent a diverse cross section of the Erie community. Some of these inner-city students are the most at-risk: the ones who are failing in school, youth with disabilities, the ones who have caused so many classroom disruptions they have been expelled, and the sons and daughters of refugees and immigrants who struggle to assimilate to life in the United States. These students, some of whom have been given up on, have great potential for success. BMC staff and volunteers recognize the interests, skills and possibilities in every single student and design programming to reach out and draw them in. It may look like these kids are building boats; but really, the boats are building these kids. BMC works to empower youth to aspire to be more: to achieve success in the classroom, get jobs that sustain themselves and their families, to pursue higher education, and to become life-long learners.
→Addressing the need for positive after-school activities for these and other teens, BMC developed Project SAIL, which focuses on job skills development. Project SAIL teaches teens how to write resumes, fill out applications, seek employment opportunities, and prepare for interviews. After school is when teens are most likely to engage in risky behaviors including drugs and sexual activity, and be subjected to violence and abuse. At best, for many it is unstructured and unproductive time. Project SAIL apprentices are getting outside, sailing, learning to use real world tools while engaged in boatbuilding and other construction projects, and improving their chances of finding employment. The sailing and boating component adds an element of adventure as well as physical activity and skills development. Too often kids turn to risky behaviors to satisfy their need for real adventure. These skills have led to new job acquisitions and students feeling more connected to their community while developing a positive sense of future.

Find Bayfront Maritime Center

Bayfront Maritime Center is located at  40 Holland Street, Erie, PA 16507
40 Holland Street, Erie, PA 16507   ·   Click Here For Directions

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