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We’re Only Angry When We See Waste

Brentwood students participate in an ocean cleanup.

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We’re Only Angry When We See Waste

Eleven students and their teacher participate in an Ocean Beach clean up.

Eleven students and their teacher participate in an Ocean Beach clean up.

Ms. Razza

Eleven students and their teacher participate in an Ocean Beach clean up.

Ms. Razza

Ms. Razza

Eleven students and their teacher participate in an Ocean Beach clean up.

Jason Monterrosa, Staff Writer

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On September 15, 2018, a group of eleven students from Brentwood High School and their government teacher, Ms. Razza, participated in a beach clean up at Ocean Beach, Fire Island. Ms. Razza offered students  this opportunity to help them complete their community service hours.

When asked why she planned this field trip, Ms. Razza stated, “I am of the mindset that we must all do what we can to give back.  I came across a quote on pinterest last year that I loved which reminded me of this very idea; it said ‘Spread kindness like confetti’ and let’s face it, kindness is at the core of any act of community service.  Although all of my senior students are required to do community service hours as a graduation requirement, I think it’s very important that they realize it shouldn’t end there. Most of the time after students participate in completing community service hours they return to class sharing what a great experience it was and how it made them feel good to do something helpful or useful.”

At this cleanup, the students were put into pairs and were responsible for finding as much refuse as possible. Each duo was responsible for tracking the types of junk they found to aid the Ocean Conservancy’s efforts to determine what type of waste was polluting our oceans most. Their mission was to assist in the conservation of our oceans, starting with their own backyard.

Each team spent three hours cleaning up the shore of Ocean Beach. In the end, it was discovered that the trash that was most found by each pair were cigarette butts. The teams met with a member of the Ocean Conservancy Group, who stated that cigarette butts were most often the biggest culprit of waste. To wrap up the day, superintendent Mr. Loeschner visited the students and discussed their plans for the future after high school.

After the community service was completed, many members of Ocean Beach expressed their gratitude for the students having taken the initiative to do good. When the students returned to school after the weekend, their efforts were rewarded with a certificate from the Ocean Conservancy Group, further validating their efforts.

According to the Ocean Conservancy Group data sheet, the 2018 international cleanup found enough plastic beverage bottles to fill five standard swimming pools as well as enough cigarette butts to line the distance of five marathons. Some of the oddest pieces of refuse found included a clown wig, a set of vampire teeth, and a toy tiara.

Ms. Razza said that from this experience, she wishes for her students to appreciate the importance of helping others. “Since the event I have heard from several students about their continued efforts to do something in their community. It’s been heartwarming to hear them express feeling good about ‘doing good.’  I hope these experiences drive them to do more in the future and empower them to go beyond just their senior year in contributing to the common good.”

If you would like to know more information on how you can start your own beach cleanup or how you can help the Ocean Conservancy Group in their efforts to save our oceans, visit their website at https://oceanconservancy.org/.

 

 

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We’re Only Angry When We See Waste