A new Plastic Pollution Solutions program is available to all middle and high school students in Maui County. The program is a product of a grant awarded to Pacific Whale Foundation through the County of Maui Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division. The goal is to familiarize students with the environmental issue of plastics in the ocean and introduce them to real solutions. “As the future decision makers and consumers of our world, these students are a critical part of the outcome,” said PWF Marketing and Development Director Kelly McHugh.
Plastic Pollution Solutions includes a screening of the 22-minute film A Plastic Ocean as well as curriculum and activities appropriate for varying subject areas. The program is available to teachers in three curriculum delivery options: a school assembly to share and discuss the film (better suited for large groups), a classroom presentation and customized workshop (better suited for smaller groups), or a leave behind, for teachers that prefer to present the program in their own way.
The PPS program is run by PWF Education Manager Robyn Ehrlich, a state certified educator with 10 years of teaching experience. Ehrlich said they want to reach all middle and high school students in Maui County with a message that inspires them to make positive, lasting changes and to become stewards of the ocean.
Ehrlich runs the nonprofit organization’s premiere keiki offerings: Ocean Camp, featuring hands-on science activities and daily field trips for children in grades 1-5, and Keiki Whalewatch, a boat and classroom-based program offered during the months of January through April for students in pre-K to grade 12. Both programs share a common goal: to introduce students to the marine environment through engaging activities and field experiences to inspire them to care about and protect the ocean.
“There is a growing global awareness of the enormity of the plastic proliferation in our oceans,” said Maui County Environmental Coordinator Rob Parsons. “We are grateful to partner with PWF to highlight the critical impacts of plastic on our marine ecosystem, and to highlight potential solutions.”
For details and scheduling information, contact Robyn Ehrlich at 808-856-8341 or [email protected]
Photo by Anders Lyon