Senior Capstone Group Organizes Ocean Cleanup

What does 50 pounds of trash look like? It may not seem like a large amount, especially if the trash is in a large landfill. But for two seniors, it was 50 pounds of trash that was picked up in less than two hours along a Rhode Island beach that reinforced their Senior Capstone topic — to focus more on recycling and throwing away less trash.

Sydney Jackson ‘20 and Lia-Sophie Keller ‘20 said they became interested in this topic through their love of animals.

“Animals were a big part of our interest in this project. We both love animals and when we saw how much sea-life is affected by ocean pollution, we felt like we needed to try to do something about it. We also started noticing litter around us and the amount of items that could be recycled, but were not.”

As part of the implementation of their project, the group gathered volunteers and spent part of a Saturday collecting trash off a beach in Rhode Island (where Keller is studying this school year).

“The clean up went really well,” the group shared. “Everyone who took part of the clean up was so happy to be there and was shocked with the amount of trash they were able to pick up. While cleaning, we felt like we were truly making a difference. Even though this clean up took place on one of the many hundreds of beaches around the world, we felt like we made an impact on ocean pollution. It was awesome to see everyone come together for one cause.”

“The group was well organized and did a great job promoting this cleanup,” said Capstone mentor Tony Ricciuto ‘74.

Part of the group’s capstone project also included speaking to elementary students about the importance of recycling.

“This Capstone project has attracted people from different generations,” Ricciuto reflected.

“We hope that this project and experience will allow others to see just how important taking care of the environment is,” the group added. “We hope that others learn the importance of the saying, “reduce, reuse, recycle,’ and the fact that by taking part in those three things, ocean pollution can be prevented. With that in mind, we hope that after others see our project and hear about our experience, that they decide to make simple daily-life changes. Some of these changes may include using reusable bags at the grocery store, using paper straws or no straws, and making an effort to recycle when possible.”

The capstone group also created an Instagram page to highlight their efforts.

Posted October 24, 2019