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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Ormond Beach, Oxnard, California, USA

Ormond Beach, Oxnard, California, USA
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Registered: December 2011
City/Town/Province: Oxnard
Posts: 1
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When I moved to Oxnard, California three years ago, I spent every single day of my summer vacation in Port Hueneme Beach swimming, skim surfing, running or just enjoying the view. Every time I went there I saw a lot of trash and dead animals lying in the sand and when I got in the water I would find unbelievable trash floating in there just like shoes, deflated balloons and even cell phones. The worse part was that even though a lot of people went there, nobody seemed to care about it. I was just shocked of what I was seeing that it made me think about all the little kids that may be playing with the death bodies of the poor animals. It also made me think of all the people that swam in polluted water and about the defenseless animals that cruelly died because of the pollution that human activities produce. I had to do something about it. I had to protect that beautiful natural environment and inform people about what was going on there and how to solve the problem. One person cannot change the whole world at once, but can encourage people to join his cause and by working together, the world will be changed.

My name is Ana and since I was little I have had a big love for the environment and its animals. For me, it is so interesting how living and non living organisms interact together and need each other in order to survive and enjoy a stable life. Sadly, nowadays because of the fast exponential growth of population a lot of waste has been produced, which in quantities that large result very harmful to the environment. Port Hueneme Beach is a clear example of human pollution in its water and its sand. I decided to do something about it. Everyday that I went to the beach, I would take two cloth bags with me. One of them was to put all the non-recyclable trash I found, so afterwards I could throw it in the trashcan which was right next to the restaurant of the beach. In the other bag, I would put only recyclable trash to then take it to a recycling center. I know this might have not been the most amazing clean up ever, but at least the beach was a little cleaner. When I joined school, I discovered a lot of groups and beach clean ups and I decided to go the each one of them. When I found out that there were some groups trying to keep this beach clean made me really happy because I was not alone in this noble cause.

I will definitely never forget my last beach clean up of the year. This beach clean up was in a new area that I had never been into, which made me really excited, but at the same time I had a feeling that I would see something different from the past ones. A couple of friends and I decided to do our own beach clean up representing our club named Be the Change so we went to Ormond beach, which is right next Port Hueneme Beach. At the beginning everything looked very ordinary, but as we walked more towards the electric plant, we noted new trash and way more dead animals, especially ducks and seagulls. There we found many electronic devices and we thought that those animals probably died because they ate some electronic parts or chocked with one of them. We kept walking until we got to a series of ponds and to a little river. The ponds were so beautiful; they were completely clean and full of birds. In contrast, the river was very polluted. One of my friends noticed that there was a big old TV, a car battery and a truck tire in the water and right between those objects there was a moribund duck. This duck was brusquely moving his head from one side to the other as if it was agonizing in pain. We wanted to do something, so we called the man in charged of taking care of the beach but he told us that he could not do anything because the TV and battery would have probably contaminated the water and it could be dangerous for him to get in there. He also told us that he had to wait about one week for Environmental Protection to come take the electronics out of the water and that there was no way that the duck was going to survive because he was clearly intoxicated. That scene just broke my heart and stunned me that I knew I needed to do something to save poor animals and to protect their habitat.

When I got home, I started to make some research on the area and discovered that about 300 species go there every year and out of that number, there are about 17 species that are in danger of being extinct. Since California has lost about a 90% of its wetlands, it is very important to take extreme care of the ones we have and Ormond Beach is one of them. Many may be wondering, why are wetlands important. It is simple, they help regulate the river flow, many animals reproduce in them, they are the home of many animals and they filter pollutants in the water.

Seeing many electronics polluting the land and aquatic environment of the wetlands of Ormond Beach and the huge TV and car battery in the river, inspired me to organize a nonprofit electronic waste and battery drive in my community. I make this kind of drives every three months opened to my community and a battery drive which is a year long, but only opened to my school. For the electronic and waste and battery drive, I collected old or not wanted electronics, including cords and batteries and I took them to Best Buy so that they could be recycled. In order to let people know about it, I sent e-mails to all the teachers of my school so that they could also tell their classes, put up many posters around the school, asked the bulleting lady to write about it, posted the event on Facebook, visited many businesses such as libraries and hospitals, distributed flyers around the neighborhood and told all the people I knew about it. I put my “Ewaste center”, which was a table and a couple of boxes, at the front of my school and I would stay there for three hours after school for two weeks and I would also go around my neighborhood asking if they had some electronic waste that they would like to donate. This was very successful that I gathered a lot of electronic devices and most importantly encouraged many people to recycle, not only electronics, but all kinds of things that can be recycled and are adopting a “go green” way of life. I also showed them some pictures of all the beach clean ups I went to, especially the one from Ormond beach letting them know of where our trash ends up and how it even kills many living organisms.

This electronic waste drive has definitely enriched my life showing me that I can fight for what I really want; all I need is determination and a big desire to make a difference in this world. I keep volunteering at beach clean ups and organizing electronic waste and battery drives. Ormond Beach definitely looks clean and a better place for all the animals and people to enjoy. I just know one thing. This is just the beginning on my way to make the earth a better place.
Date: January 1, 2012 Views: 9166 File size: 13.7kb, 1933.3kb : 3648 x 2736
Hours Volunteered: 60
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16
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