Ocean campaign raises awareness | AspenTimes.com

Ocean campaign raises awareness

Dear Editor:

I would like to commend two elementary schools in the Roaring Fork Valley for their successful, voluntary participation in a national ocean preservation campaign called the Rakefish Project.

Fourth-grade students in Lisa Olson’s class at Glenwood Springs Elementary and Adam Hancock’s class at Aspen Elementary, contributed the results of their research tasks to this awareness initiative. This involved investigation into how their local watershed as well as people’s choices and behaviors contribute to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the global issue of marine plastic pollution. Their portion of this collaborative, multistate effort was highlighted in the month of December by a visit from the “Rakefish” sculpture and by interactive Skype sessions with schools in Connecticut and Ohio.

The Rakefish Project

(www.rakefish.org), a nonprofit, grant-funded project that began earlier this year in Connecticut, is working with Algalita Marine Research Foundation, founded by Capt. Charles Moore, who is credited with discovering the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The sculpture, a 4-foot fish made out of a broken rake and other waste material, is visiting one state per month.

Aspen Elementary is mailing it next to Austin, Texas, in January, and students have shown much enthusiasm about being part of the tour. The sculpture will travel to California and Hawaii before culminating in a presentation to leadership in Washington, D.C., this spring.

The Colorado Ocean Coalition, an organization whose mission is to promote an inland ocean movement, is very impressed with the amount of work these teachers and students took on and the quality and enthusiasm for addressing complex ocean issues in the heart of the mountain states. The Rakefish Project is truly inspirational and has highlighted the concept that there are many things we can do in Colorado to save oceans. The coalition is delighted to collaborate with this innovative project and applauds this community-based, ocean-oriented adventure.

Vicki Nichols Goldstein

Executive director, Colorado Ocean Coalition

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