Belen Jesuit Just Groups Service Presentation`
November 2, 2023
On Thursday, November 2nd, The International SeaKeepers Society gave a virtual presentation to high school students at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami. This presentation was the second part of these students' "Just Groups" educational service experience, where SeaKeepers Community Engagement Associate, Lillian Engelhard, talked to attendees about the value of participating in community service through coastal cleanups. As an introduction, we discussed with students the different types and sources of marine debris we might find in coastal areas, of which over 80% is sourced directly from terrestrial pollution. From here, we talked to students about the benefits of not only removing marine debris from the local environment, but also tracking the final locations and types of debris as citizen scientist to create data that can be used by scientists to support the creation of sustainable policies. To conclude our short presentation, we discussed different types of common marine debris, particularly single-use plastics, and existing or potential, more sustainable alternatives that might reduce the waste they produce. From here, we will meet the students for a service day at Morningside Park in Miami where we can see the impact of marine debris in action while we remove it from the environment and identify items we could reduce use of in our own lives.
The goal of this presentation was to introduce our Belen Just Groups series students to the concept of pollution in urban environments, and how much damage that can provide to the local watershed. We look forward to concluding this series with our students soon with a coastal cleanup in Morningside Park!