By: Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager
The students and Advisory Board members from the ITEP San Pedro Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) at San Pedro High School, celebrated the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day on Friday April 20, 2012, with on-campus presentations and demonstrations that generated interest and awareness for the “Green Generation.” More than ever before, young people are getting involved by taking steps in their schools, homes and neighborhoods to protect the environment by recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, volunteering for coastal clean-ups, and exploring the possibility of entering into green careers in the future.
To celebrate this event, 10 members of the US Coast Guard Base on Terminal Island, gave presentations that showed students the importance of their missions in the protection and stewardship of natural resources by eliminating environmental damage associated with maritime transportation, fishing, and recreational boating.
More than 45 presentations and demonstrations during the day gave students a wide range of topics and points of interest to consider. Guest Speakers from local organizations included Advisory Board Chair, Mike Schaadt, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Administrator, who, along with two other scientists from the aquarium, gave presentations on “Careers in Marine Biology and Oceanography,” as well as displaying a live grunion lab for students to interact with.
Pax Bowman, an ITEP Partner from West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), presented the “Enviro-Jeopardy Game,” modeled after the television game show. Students showed how much they knew in areas including:Earth Day, Recycling, Port Related Environment, and What Not to Do. Student teams became very competitive with each other, and were quite involved in capturing the most points to win the game.
In addition, Nancy Felix, from SA Recycling, spoke to students about “Careers in Environmental Management,” and had a presentation about how SA recycles scrap metal. Attorney Vivi Heger spoke on Environmental Law, and Dr Raymond Wells presented a community college approach to Programs in Marine Biology.
Student Council members were able to secure more than 200 signed commitment cards during the day-long event, with students having the opportunity to complete written pledges for “A Billion Acts of Green,” Earth Day’s way of mobilizing the power of people to create change by taking small steps. Each student was encouraged to write down at least one thing they would do to help protect the environment. The statements made by these high school students, show how much they care about the environment, and what they plan to do to help.
I wonder how many of us can pledge the same things that these high school students have?
“I will try not to leave trash anywhere so it doesn’t lead to our oceans or pollute,” said SPEA student, Juan G.
“I will reuse and save my bottled water…I also pledge to carpool to school,” R.C.
“I will use the bag I was given at thestore and that will help save plastic bags,” D.A. wrote.
And, other statements made by students include,
“Take shorter showers…”
“Turn off lights when not using it…”
“Walk, instead of ride…”
“Grow more plants!” What are the rest of us willing to do?