Registered: November 2008
City/Town/Province: Pompano Beach
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A beach day to remember
My friends and I, being avid surfers, have a lot of love and concern for our environment, especially when it comes to our ocean, which we consider our playground. When I read about the Nicodemus Wilderness Project and the impact it is making on our environment all over the country, I knew it was the service project for me. I came up with a plan to make my volunteering fun and interesting for everyone involved. Now letís recap the dayís events.
We decided to visit South Inlet Park on Camino Real in Boca this past Sunday to enjoy the beautiful weather and clean up the beach. I made the day into a game to get everyone to show up. I included not only my friends but my little sister Emilyís friends as well. We made two competitive teams. Team Sunshine led by me which was the girls team and team Ocean led by my best friend Brendan which was the boyís team. We wore team colored bandannas, the girls wearing white and the boys wearing blue. At noon we began the race. Each team got a monster sized garbage bag and raced off in opposite directions to skim the beach for trash and interesting objects we could find. At the end of the day we would decide who had the bigger garbage bag and each team would get points for who collected the coolest artifacts out of the sand and water. The winning team would get a cool prize at the end of the day and both teams would get to keep the cool things they found. My team had a lot of fun. It was disgusting how much trash we collected and how sad it is to find how many people litter the beaches daily. We found popped balloons, candy wrappers, soda cans, red solo cups, pieces of plastic, a condom, a tampon, and tons more. But we found other interesting beautiful things as well that we were anticipating showing off to team Ocean. We found a little crab one of the girls held in her bucket, 2 sea cucumbers, a couple hamburger beans and seabeans, interesting shells, and a few cool corals. Finally it was 4:00 and time to see what the other team had collected. When we got back team Ocean was waiting for us excited to show us their treasures too. They also found a few sea cucumbers, 2 seabeans, and a bunch of driftwood pieces full of barnacles that they were extremely proud of. Team Oceanís bag turned out to be slightly heavier and bulkier than ours so they won the prize! They were each awarded with a gift card to Coldstoneís Ice Cream and I made goody bags for both teams for participation. It was one of the most fun beach experiences Iíve ever had, and I would enjoy doing this volunteer work again.
I learned a lot during my day cleaning up the beach. I learned that people should be more aware of how their actions, especially littering, affect everyone around them including the animals and birds in their natural habitats. I learned that it can be fun to clean the beach and it is a very rewarding task to perform. But the main thing I learned was that I can make a difference in helping our environment, even if itís in a very minuscule way. I liked that I could do the project on my own time and I could get creative and do what I wanted with it. I also liked that the kids got really into it as well and are becoming aware of their environment. I really liked the fun aspects of it such as finding all the seabeans which I love to drill holes in and make into unique beachy jewelry. I disliked the ignorance of people who trash our beaches and I disliked having to clean up after pigs. Otherwise my overall experience was so incredible and it was an awesome learning experience for me and everyone involved. This volunteer project has inspired me to do more fun races and games such as the one I made up to get people to become aware of what is happening to our environment and the impact it can have on us in the future. If more people like us become involved and aware of becoming greener and taking care of our oceans and lands we would have less of a hazardous environment and one day maybe we wonít have to worry about the effects of Global Warming or an unhealthy living environment for our future and the future of our children.