On Sunday, October 12th Team Marine members Brian Samimi and Kimberly Fuentes represented us on Emerald Planet, a weekly television program that is broadcast and distributed via Channel 10 TV in Fairfax, Virginia USA. We were so honored to be featured on their TV show via skype to reflect once more on the effects that the youth can have on public policy regarding our advocacy work that we have done over the past 8 years to ban the single use plastic bag in the state of California. It was great to see a familiar face (even though we could not exactly see her), Linda Schade, who a few years back came to Santa Monica High School to film a documentary,”Young Voices for the Planet”. We recounted how seeing that documentary as the present Team Marine sets a high standard and leaves a sense of awe to our predecessors and all that they accomplished. It is truly inspiring what they accomplished and we strive to reach that level and surpass it as well.
If you haven’t heard already, we have just had a HUGE environmental win on August 29th, 2014 with Senate Bill 270. After eight long hardworking years of Team Marine student involvement, both the California Senate and Assembly have passed a STATE plastic bag ban with a speedy signature from Gov. Jerry Brown expected to follow. We aided efforts with award winning scientific research; testified numerous times in city halls across the county; marched six times through city streets; created multiple PSA videos and documented six years of storm drain runoff (first flush); We also did eco-artwork; lobbiedthree times at the state capitol building; called and wrote our representatives!
We are deeply honored and proud to announce that Team Marine has been featured in the book “Empowering Young Voices for the Planet” by Lynne Cherry, Juliana Texley, and Suzanne E. Lyons. We would like to thank Team Marine ’07-’08 for their leadership that led to our inclusion in this book and for leading the way in banning the plastic bag in California. This amazing book is an educational resource for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) teachers looking to empower their students to take action in their own communities and learn the science behind climate change. Special thank you to Lynne Cherry, Juliana Texley, and Suzanne E. Lyons and to Team Marine ’07-’08 for making this happen.
On the 25th of July 2014, we, Team Marine, met in Marina Del Rey in order to attend the Sailing through STEM night, where we showcased both our 1971 electric Volkswagen Superbeetle, our newly started cigarette study and recycling game. The event, which took place at the California Yacht club, was composed of diversified stations that incorporated various fields of science through the display of technological advances and real-life applications pertaining to sailing. Our station primarily focused upon the adverse effects of ocean acidification, which aggresses both boats and the shells of calcareous marine organism, and climate change, which could challenge our ability to sail or even survive, on sailing and planet Earth as a whole, as well as solutions to these issues. One such solution, is the replacement of gas combustion engine car by electric vehicles, for these vehicles have a consequently reduced impact on the environment that we cherish. This feat is principally achieved by them being more efficient as to energy input versus output. Moreover, the energy used to produce electricity is shifting toward renewable energy sources.
We presented mainly to a population of younger students interested both in the STEM subject areas and sailing. We spoke fluently about the Superbeetle and our other projects, often discussing the process of converting the car. Those students who attended our station were extremely pleased to learn about the environment; one of them went as far as to state that he was so inspired by our work that he would pursue engineering later in life.
All in all, this event was a wonderful time of rejoicing, for we have had the opportunity to instruct those younger than us concerning the problems –but also solutions- currently plaguing our environment, our world. We would truly like to thank the California Yacht Club for hosting this phenomenal event as well as Jessica Servis for her great work in organizing it.
On June 19th, Team Marine united once more for a meeting to thank all of our supporters and sponsors that aided our efforts this amazing year. Thanks to the talents of Team Marine members Hannah Persinko and Kimberly Fuentes we had homemade “Thank You” cards made and signed by all members present. It was definitely a fun-filled afternoon as we reminisced over all of our accomplishments this year and a grateful one at that as we personalized the cards with messages. The list of people we had to thank is too long to fit in one blog post but we would just like to acknowledge Mimi and Russel Poon-Fear for donating us the amazing 1971 Volkswagen superbeetle 4 years ago with the hopes that we may convert it into an electric vehicle! We would also like to thank our encouraging and dedicated mentor, Mr. Benjamin Kay, for always pushing us to be a better team and believing in us this whole year. From being on CNN Latino, to getting ACE to give a presentation to our school, being on the Sound Radio, having the best Life Straws year EVER, going to lobby at Sacramento on Ocean Day, and going to the mini maker’s faire in Pasadena this year was jam-packed opportunities and events for the team! Without all of the unconditional support that we received from everyone none of this could’ve been achieved, so on behalf of everyone on Team Marine, thank you.
On Sunday, June 8, Team Marine attended a party at member Ellie’s house to celebrate the end of another sustainable year. In addition, we celebrated with a special Team Marine cake (check it out below). Special thanks to Joel and Ellie Reynolds for making this party possible!
On Friday, June 6th 2014, Team Marine’s seniors graduated. Stoles were ordered by senior Aubrey Dondick and the graduates wore them proud. Mr. Kay and the rest of Team Marine wishes them the best of luck for next year and beyond!
Angelina Hwang will be attending Duke University
Aubrey Dondick will be attending Oregon State University
Ellie Reynolds will be attending McGill University
Katie Oran will be attending State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
On Thursday April the 24th, 2014, we went to an art gallery at EarthWE. This exposition, named “no es basura”, was a joint project between environmentalist Peter Kreitler and John Reiff Williams. Photographed trash arranged in an esthetic way collected over a span of 90 days was diplayed there. During the event, we met both local activists and celebrities of the environmental world, including Anna Cummins, the cofounder of 5 Gyres. This art exposition demonstrated to us the high amount of plastic pollution in our beaches. We also were galvanized by knowing the actions taken by the leaders of the environmental movement. We would like to thank the artists, Mr. Kreitler and Williams as well as the EarthWE gallery for hosting the event.
On April 1st, we co-hosted an Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) presentation with ASB, Solar Alliance, and Heal the Bay Surfrider clubs at Santa Monica High School. We had two, hour-long, presentations with approximately three hundred students each. This presentation was important because there are many students that are unaware of the effects of climate change. An interactive and engaging presentation brought environmental awareness to our peers; we love to eco-educate to eco-activate our community. We learned about the increase of carbon emissions creating a greenhouse layer in our atmosphere which heats up the planet, therefore increasing sea level rise and causing ocean acidification. Thank you to Kristina von Hoffman, the West Coast Region ACE associate program director, for giving us this eye opening presentation.