Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bay Savers: The Next Generation

by Amy Alton, Communications Associate

You're never too young to take an active role in caring for the Bay. Ten year old Alyssa Lee proved this point last weekend when she mobilized a group of her friends to clean up a section of the Alameda/Oakland shoreline. Here is the story…

Two weeks ago, when taking a walk with her family, she discovered an extremely littered section of the shoreline. Rather than turn a blind eye to the problem, she took action. She invited several friends to give up their weekends to join her in a trash cleanup.

Being the conscientious type, Alyssa's dad contacted Save The Bay to ask how to responsibly dispose of the heaps of trash they would no doubt collect. He also mentioned that most of the trash was plastic and that as a result, he had been telling his daughters and their friends about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the impact non-recycled plastics have on the environment.

As you can imagine we were thrilled to learn of these budding Bay Savers! We pointed them toward the appropriate recycling and waste centers and outfitted them with Save The Bay stickers and patches to thank them for their invaluable contribution to the health of the Bay.

According to dad, "the cleanup was a big hit with the kids! It gave them a great sense of pride to do something for the environment."

At the end of the day, they had filled at least four big garbage bags – most of which were non bio-degradable plastics. Both the impetus and result of Alyssa's cleanup serve as a good reminder of the massive amounts of trash flowing to the Bay from our parking lots, streets and neighborhoods. It also underscores the necessity to significantly reduce this trash and plastic pollution, which harms wildlife, spoils water quality and lowers property values and our quality of life.

Do your part and help Save The Bay protect our valuable resource from trash and litter:

  • Learn more about preventing trash pollution.

  • Sign our petition to "Kick the Bag Habit!" and make the switch to reusable bags.

  • Tell your leaders to eliminate plastic bags in California.

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