- Mark Friedman
By Mark Friedman, RLn Correspondent, Marine educator LA Maritime Institute, San Pedro
Los Angeles Maritime youth crew members, interpreters and educators on the Explore the Coast monthly sails, and others from the Animo High School Marine Biology Club in Lennox, have been expanding their educational and action campaign, regionally and nationally. They have participated in the Los Angeles Science Fair, presented to workshop of Animo High teachers that was hosted by USC Sea Grant and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Skyped with students and scientists nationally and internationally.
In mid-May they toured CarbonLite the state-of-the-art recycling plant near Riverside, witnessing a plastic bottle recycling process that includes sorting, cleaning, shredding, melting and reforming into pellets and finally packaging of the resin pellets for sale to companies seeking to incorporate recycled plastic in their products. With proposed California laws that require a percentage of recycled plastic in new plastic products, many companies are seeking this new product.
For these 20 students, who’ve been engaged for the entire school year in research and action campaigns to reduce ocean plastic, this was a vivid example that the potential exists to recycle a much higher percentage of plastic than is currently reused.
The students have produced a website and uploaded their research projects and their bilingual materials to educate others throughout the world about much-needed efforts to recycle and reuse plastic products and prevent their introduction into landfills and the ocean. In this effort, they have collaborated with students across the United States and Japan. Most recently a delegation of two Latinas participated in student and teacher workshops for a week in Chile.
They work closely with local organizations such as Algalita, 5Gyres, City2Sea, AltaSea, LA Maritime Institute, and USC Wrigley Marine center.
For those students and others interested in following these efforts, supporting the students and joining in their action campaign, visit their website: www.animomarinebio.weebly.com.