Welcome To April: The Riverguides’s Investigation Into Plastic Pollution In The Delaware River Continues!
We kicked off April with a Saturday community event at Lardners Point Park. These events are always open our friends, volunteers, community and all PWBF stakeholders. Come join us! Our next events will be in mid-June.
The April event took place in the shadow of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge arc, where several students led our volunteers in an effort to record data from the plastics they collected while participating in a shoreline cleanup.
The youth we work with often identify teaching others as a key way for them to cement their own skills, and understand their own styles of learning. Our volunteers provide a collaborative audience for our Riverguides to engage with. Thank-you PWBF volunteers!
Orquidea, Pineapple, Cashmere, and Alex talked about the effects that plastic pollution can have in aquatic environments, and that while part of the solution is to remove these pollutants from the water and its surrounding ecosystems, another crucial part is to get information from what we recover. The most common items we’ve consistently found included Styrofoam fragments, beverage bottles, and bottlecaps, and more analysis will come over the next few months as we begin moving into analysis. Once the spring trimester starts next week, we will allot some time to learning more about ways to make sense of our data, create visuals out of it, and make some cool maps to put some geographic context to the issue of plastic pollution in our local river. We’re excited for this next challenge, and want to thank 11th Hour Racing for their support of this project! In the meantime, we’ll leave you with some words from one of our amazing young people, who goes by Pineapple, speaking on how their journey learning about marine plastic pollution has helped her with teaching others about it.
“What I learn here I take out with me. So for example, something small like littering; before if I had a juice it was out the window, if I had a wrapper it was on the ground. But now when I’m out and I have trash…I know what happens to it. So when you put litter on the ground… it goes right out into our oceans and fresh water. So you are basically dirtying up our oceans and it can kill animals in the ocean, you know they can eat it, they can get caught in it… I didn’t know about this stuff so I didn’t care… So it’s nice to go out, like when we do river cleanups and we’re down at the river and strangers are like ‘well what do you guys do?’… and I inform them about water and how to keep it clean. I notice that most of the people we talk to are like ‘wow! That’s so good! I never knew that!’ so I feel like people aren’t doing it on purpose to hurt the environment, they just don’t know about it. So I feel like I am applying those skills to the community to inform them about what’s going on… and I enjoy doing that!”