Shorecrest Preparatory School is pleased to announce that it has been named an Ocean Guardian School
, a school recognition program sponsored by the NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Shorecrest received the designation for its commitment to keeping local waterways clean and promoting recycling on campus.
The Ocean Guardian School program supports hands-on stewardship projects that are focused on current issues affecting the health of local watersheds and/or the ocean while promoting best environmental practices.
An Ocean Guardian School makes a commitment to the protection and conservation of its local watersheds and beyond by proposing and then implementing a school-based conservation project. The hands-on project should reflect environmentally sustainable practices to enable all students to be active and committed "Ocean Guardians." Participating schools are evaluated at the end of the year for formal NOAA Ocean Guardian School recognition.
“Over the 2020-2021 school year, Shorecrest Middle School students had 127 sessions of campus and canal clean-up,” eighth grade science teacher Kathryn Jeakle shared. “They conducted 2 brand audits totaling 943 pieces of trash and took part in 2 Litterati Challenges with over 1200 pieces of trash collected. The total on-campus collection of trash, in weight, that year was 230 pounds.”
Seventh and eighth graders at Shorecrest are also responsible for reminding their peers to do their part to protect the ocean. The school is connected to a watershed which drains into Tampa Bay, which drains into the Gulf of Mexico.
“When it rains on campus, some of the water soaks into the ground, but some goes down streets and across parking lots into drains,” offered Ms. Danielle Parrott, who teaches seventh grade science at Shorecrest. “These flow into the channel, Bay and ocean. 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.”
Shorecrest Middle School science teachers Ms. Jeakle and Ms. Parrott applied for the School to earn the Ocean Guardian School Distinction. “We’re so proud of our students’ commitment to preserving our oceans. They’ve really demonstrated ownership of our conservation efforts.”
In addition to working on their conservation projects, students have worked to incorporate small changes into their and their peers’ habits to help make an impact each day. “We can all help by reducing waste - such as using fewer napkins at meals, using scrap paper before reaching for blank paper, using fewer single-use plastic items, and recycling,” added eighth grader Cole O. ‘26.View the video students created for their peers to understand the Program
The National Marine Sanctuary System was instituted by the United States government in the 1970s and is run nationally by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an American scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce. The System promotes environmental protection, stewardship and ocean research and protects areas of special national significance within our oceans.