The Beach Battlers
- Grade 6
- Grade 7
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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, two million people die each year from illnesses relating to polluted water. Many of our beaches are altered and destroyed, because of climate change. This means that many unique habitats of animals and plants have been ruined by humans who carelessly litter. We, The Beach Battlers, are here to help fix that. We are a local group of Grade 6/7 students from John Henderson Elementary School in Vancouver, BC who are trying to fix the pollution that is caused by humans. To help reduce beach pollution, we are committed to cleaning our local beaches. We have already cleaned Jericho Beach and have planned a field trip to clean up Iona Beach in Richmond, BC. To make this field trip possible, we are getting the help of Shoreline Cleanup, our community coach, to meet us at the beach and supply us with tongs, bags, and gloves. While we collect garbage, we are going to keep a record which will reveal what kind of items that have been left on the beach. We will provide this data to Shoreline Cleanup and they will properly dispose of these items. To help cover the cost of this trip, Pacific Parklands Foundation has generously donated $500 to our cause, which means that 56 people will attend this trip. But this is only the beginning! We aren't just doing this for a project, we are doing this to save our planet. The reason we chose to do this topic, is that millions of our marine life are endangered due to the amount of plastic that is being dumped into our oceans. We aren't just doing it for marine animals either, but for the generations that will grow up in a land where the water is either toxic, or filled with plastic. Humans aren't safe from pollution either, as there can be very severe illnesses that occur just by swimming in heavily polluted waters. There are illnesses like Respiratory infections, Encephalitis, and Hepatitis that affect people who swim in polluted waters. If this continues, we will have many problems. Also, the majority of pollutants going into the ocean are caused by activities on land. Natural processes and human activities along the coastline and far inland affect the ocean's health. The steps we had to take were exceptionally difficult for this project to be a success. We first had to contact bus companies for our field trip to Iona Beach. We contacted Translink to help us get to the beach at a reduced cost, but they said to fill out a charitable donation form. However, this form will not get approved until mid-March, so we had to solve the problem. We had to think about another bus company, and we found the Pacific Parklands Foundation, and they gladly agreed to give us a $500 dollar cheque. Our future plans if we win are that we will increase our budget, and we are going to host future cleanups that will hopefully be larger and have more participants than our previous events. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “We need to be the change we wish to seek.” So let's be what we want to be!