Shorecrest is Becoming an Ocean Guardian School

by: Kathryn Jeakle, Marine Science Teacher
Shorecrest is starting the process of becoming an Ocean Guardian School, and first must demonstrate how Chargers can protect the Tampa Bay Watershed. Middle School students have promised to collect marine debris from campus and promote proper recycling throughout the year to help protect the ocean. 

Seventh and eighth graders shared a special presentation with their Middle School peers this week to kick off the program. Key points included:
  • Oceans cover 71% of our planet and connect to one water mass.
  • The Ocean regulates climate, gives us food, jobs, and medicine, and a great place to explore and enjoy.
  • We all have to do our part to protect the ocean.
  • Marine debris is a global environmental issue. Trash can be in found in all parts of our oceans. Where does marine litter come from? We all live in a watershed. Our school is connected to a watershed which drains into Tampa Bay, which drains into the Gulf of Mexico. When it rains in our area some of the water soaks into the ground, but some flows down streets and across parking lots - picking up litter along the way. It flows into drains, which flow into channels, Tampa Bay and then the ocean. In this way, most of the pollution in the ocean comes from the land. What we do on land impacts organisms that live in our watershed - and therefore the Gulf. 
In the USA we have National Parks to protect wilderness on land. In the 1970s our government realized we needed something similar to protect the water. The National Marine Sanctuary System was instituted, and is run nationally by NOAA. It promotes environmental protection, stewardship and ocean research. It protects areas of special national significance within our oceans. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary sponsors the Ocean Guardian School program of which Shorecrest is now a member. 

Shorecrest seventh and eighth graders have been collecting trash since the first day of school and currently recovered 10.6 lbs of trash. All Chargers can help by reducing their usage - such as using fewer napkins at lunch or using scrap paper before reaching for blank paper, as well as recycling in the blue bins in classrooms and around campus. Also please be sure trash is disposed of properly. Some of the items found in the channel on campus included food wrappers, such as the cracker packages from SAGE.

What goes in a recycling bin on campus?
  • Plastic bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard and paper
  • Plastics labeled #1-6
  • Glass - if it is clean and bigger than your fist
What should stay out of Shorecrest recycling bins?
  • Food wrappers
  • Used napkins or tissues
  • Plastic bags, plastic lids, and plastic utensils
  • Anything smaller than your fist 
We can work to become good Ocean Guardians together!

Shorecrest

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.