Environmental Ambassadors Summer 2019
By: Fennie Easton van der Graaf
When was the last time you went to the beach and looked for red seaweed? What about for sea stars? Crabs, jellyfish, animals you can’t name – they’re patterning BC’s coastline. Hiding between rocks, grappling onto algae, inside sea animals, you’ll also find plastic litter.
As a Science Educator at Sea Smart, I had the unique opportunity to encourage kids to appreciate our marine life, and to protect our oceans. We are outdoors all day exploring our shoreline and intertidal zone, developing early marine biologist skills. The kids make unforgettable experiences on Acadia Beach that they then use to inspire their parents, teachers, friends to reuse more, throw out less.
My BSc is focused in chemistry, so my highlight was teaching about ocean acidification. The kids get the chance to connect increasing carbon dioxide levels in our air with loss of invertebrate life in our oceans. Throughout my BSc I was an academic researcher, and so I loved inspiring the kids to consider STEAM as a career interest and to support their critical thinking and public speaking. The kids were challenged to develop an environmental action proposal for their ‘Ocean Awareness Projects’. I am so impressed with how the kids convinced their peers to make lifestyle changes that benefit the environment.
Overall, thank you so much to Sea Smart for this incredible experience and to our volunteers and kids! One voice can make a difference. Together we can make a change.