NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

2011 quasi-resolution #001: Get involved! (and here’s how)


Happy New Year! We look forward to another awesome blog-filled year all about our favorite trashy subject, marine debris!

If you’re like me, you’ve come up with a couple of end of the year/beginning of the new year items to officially put on your “Things I wouldn’t necessarily call resolutions” resolutions list. I really do try to stick to these quasi-resolutions; I really do!

This year, one of my quasi-resolutions is to get more involved in conservation/environment-related causes, outside of my normal day-job. To that end, I wanted to share something that I’ve seen traveling around the conservation community. It’s a letter from a 5th grade class in California showing how they are committed to making a difference and asking others to do the same by joining them on February 1st to pick up trash and send in a picture. I figure, if these students are doing it, why can’t I? Even if I only have the time to pick up a few pieces of trash on my lunch break – completely doable! So, I’ll be participating…how about you? ~Carey

(From email) To Whom Can Help:

We are the 5th grade class of Mount Madonna School. This year we are doing a project to help the environment. We have chosen to focus on California Sea Otters. As a part of this project, we are making a DVD to educate people about sea otters and how our actions affect them. In addition, we are creating educational materials to be posted on a few websites. We are also creating picture books for our little kindergarten buddies that teach them about the ocean. We will be addressing the Board of Supervisors to show our support for a ban on single-use plastic bags. We have been very busy.

We are inviting you to join in our World Wide Waste Reduction Day: Only We Can Save the Sea!

We are hoping, on February 1st, that you will go outside, pick up trash and send us a picture of your participation (with your location).  All of our world is part of a watershed. When trash is thrown outside it makes its way to a water source which eventually goes to the ocean. When trash is in the ocean, animals mistake it for food. Once they eat the trash it fills their stomach and they cannot eat, which causes death. They also can get wrapped up in trash and die. 80% of what we use ends up in the ocean!

We invite you on February 1st to go outside, pick up trash, take a picture and mail or email the picture with your location to:

Mount Madonna School 5th Grade Class
491 Summit Road, Watsonville, CA 95076

Thank you for taking time to read our letter. We hope you will participate in our World Wide Waste Reduction Day on February 1st. Also, please help spread the word by forwarding or posting this invitation. The more people across the world that join in, the bigger a difference we can make for the ocean!

The 5th Grade Class at Mount Madonna School

Author: NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

2 thoughts on “2011 quasi-resolution #001: Get involved! (and here’s how)

  1. I’m one of the teachers who are guiding these students in this project. I want to stress that this was not generated by my co-teacher or me. It was created by the students themselves. It is evidence that as a school, we are committed to an education that encourages citizenship, not just consumption.
    I do hope you will just take that moment to pick up some piece of trash and properly dispose of it on this day (whether or not you photograph it) and then everyday. It is my pledge to my kids, my school, my community and my world.

  2. Very much like stories such as this. If you find stories that attack the problem from the other end — don’t buy products with excessive packaging, don’t use disposable bags, etc. — it would be nice to hear about them.

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