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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Jones Beach, Bellmore, New York, USA

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Jones Beach, Bellmore, New York, USA
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Registered: December 2007
City/Town/Province: Bellmore
Posts: 1
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“The Supreme Reality of Our Time is...the Vulnerability of our Planet". John F. Kennedy proclaimed this almost fifty years ago in a speech about protecting the environment. Environmentalism is clearly not a new political issue, yet conditions have still progressively worsened. In my own John F. Kennedy High School of Bellmore, New York, I was presented with the problem that our school was having a destructive impact on the earth. I began researching global warming, renewable energy certificates, the melting of the polar ice caps, and in general the bleak consequences we will face if there is little preventative action. I learned that if the world continues on this path for another ten years, some damages will become irreversible and this was shocking to me. I was determined to make a difference, and out of this interest the Ecology club (now known as “Helping Our Planet Earth”) was born, with me as the president and founder. This club gives the officers and I a tool to make a difference in our community. We have started numerous projects, but I have also embarked on my own journey. I have started a project to clean up the shores of the Great South Bay in my spare time. I am hoping to make a significant difference that I can fully call my own. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you are bringing your fellow classmates together, and in the process changing your community and school for the better.

My high school and town are located adjacent to the Great South Bay. About a century ago, before industrialization, the bay was a pristine blue body of water. It was inhabited by hundreds of species of aquatic fauna, fish, insects, and geese. But, now it has become green murky water. At extremely low tides a stench of dead fish overcomes the community. The Jones Beach Sewage Facility dumps out into the bay, and has transformed this once picturesque habitat into a sewer. Old tires, soda bottles, plastic bags, cigarette boxes, and six-pack plastic holders are often seen floating around the water. This garbage especially accumulates near the town docks where the birds like sunbathe. The daily sight of this contamination has inspired my personal project. I have gone to our public docks and cleaned up as much garbage as I could find. The picture was taken at the beginning of my project, at the docks near the marshland. This is the dock after I have cleaned nearly an entire trash bag of garbage from it and the surrounding water. If people were more aware of their surroundings I am convinced there would be more conservation and protection efforts in our own backyards.

In addition to my own efforts, as the president of the Ecology Club one of our major goals is to educate the future generation about their environmental impact. Our biggest project is the production of a presentation that will be showed to the student body during January of 2008. We have been compiling facts, video clips, pictures and songs to create this presentation. We have even received the rights from the Blue Man Group to use their video “Earth to America” in our opening. We want this presentation to be a motivational factor in getting our school to actively preserve the environment. We will have the ability to measure the impact of our video through surveys that will be conducted before and after the presentation. In addition, I am currently making a website for the club ( This website will accommodate all the administrative needs of the club, while allowing us to convey some of our thoughts and facts about the environment. We will have all sign ups and newsletters sent electronically in order to save paper. In addition, in the days before winter break we have assembled a flyer, which will be displayed throughout the school. This flyer will give the student body useful tips on how to stay “green” throughout the holidays. We will try and print it on 100% recycled paper to reinforce our message of conserving trees. One of the tips is to replace wrapping paper with newspaper. This way we are not depleting our ever-diminishing forests. If we have our entire school’s support, we will have a more significant chance of making a difference.

Finally, the club is taking an active role in raising money for worthy environmental causes. We have assembled numerous projects to generate funds. We are in the process of designing canvas bags that could replace plastic shopping bags. We would not only be raising money, but minimizing plastic use in our community. In addition, we have plans to start a clothing line that will be sold in popular stores and sell water bottles in the school. The clothing line would serve to spread our environmental message and the proceeds would go toward a charity of our choice. If we sell reusable bottles and have a means to refill them within the school, it would conserve hundreds of bottles each day. New York water is said to be better than most bottled water, so there is no reason not to drink it. Finally, our most ambitious project is the selling of R.E.C.’s (Renewable Energy Certificates). R.E.C.’s have the power to offset carbon emissions. Our first step will be to try and raise enough money to offset the carbon emissions of our school. Then, we have learned about a project called the wind power card. It is an item currently being retailed in Whole Foods Markets and costs about 15 dollars. The proceeds from the sale of the card offset about a month’s worth of the average household’s carbon emissions. If we could sell these widespread through our website the benefits could be tremendous. As a team, the club has worked together to come up with several projects to raise funds, and in the process help the environment.

Our efforts have managed to bring bright students together toward a productive and meaningful goal. H.O.P.E. has had an enormous impact on the student body. We plan to continue to raise awareness in the school and potentially make a difference throughout the country with our video. We have grown into a group of about 15 students who are actively contributing toward our goal. The hours worked are uncountable. I have conducted forty-five minute meetings nearly every day, plus my individual work. The funds we generate will be used for what we believe in- helping our planet.
Date: December 29, 2007 Views: 12223 File size: 18.0kb, 98.9kb : 1500 x 1125
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 15
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15 to 17
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 2
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 10
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