Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hats Off to Academy I Middle School in Jersey City, NJ!!!


Academy 1 Middle School in Jersey City deserves a huge amount gratitude and recognition for their work to protect our oceans and educate everyone about storm water pollution! On Tuesday, March 18, the “Cimate Academy” team of Mr. Osenenko’s sixth grade students, David Chen, Tsering Bista, Mathew Aquino, Yoonji Oh and Crystal Jahoor, kicked off the campaign "Clean Cities Make Clean Oceans" by painting the storm drains near the school with a stencil that stated “Dump No Waste: Drains to Waterways.”

The students were supported by Mr. Daniel Becht, Executive Director of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority and Mr. Joseph Beckmeyer, Chief Engineer. Packets of paint, brushes, and stencils prepared by the Climate Academy were delivered by The Municipal Utilities Authority so that all the schools could participate in the project on March 24 and March 25, 2008.

The team of five students from Academy I organized themselves into an organization they call The Climate Academy. Sixth graders David Chen, Tsering Bista, Mathew Aquino, Yoonji Oh and Crystal Jahoor first tackled them problem of educating the public about global warming.

They developed two public service announcements that are currently airing on Comcast Channel 1. This was achieved by the support and dedication of The Media Arts High Tech Magnet Program at Snyder High School. The Climate Academy Films were edited by students in the media program. The high school media students were inspired to also enter the contest.

The Climate Academy Team was recently awarded $3000.00 and will now compete for the grand prize. The success of The Climate Academy revolved around the cooperation of Dorie Dunham (Media Instructor), Thomas Horan (Media Arts Tech Program Director), and Grace Moriarty (Principal of Academy I) and Joseph Osenenko (Science Instructor).

Check out the link on Clean Ocean Action's webpage about this work! Thanks to the students and all collaborators for this great work to protect coastal resources!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Human Impact on the Seas

Research by scientists in the Feburary 15th issue of the journal Science shows almost none of the world’s seas is free of human impact. Four percent of the ocean is considered nearly pristine while 40 percent is heavily or strongly impacted by human activity.

One of the most widespread impacts researchers found is acidification of ocean water by carbon. This is carbon that comes from human activities usually involving combustion. Increased acidification of the ocean can interfere with the survival and reproduction of marine organisms.

Other impacts include: shipping, fishing, pollution (including solid trash and plastics), invasive species, temperature changes, ultraviolet light, acidification, agricultural runoff and sewage, bottom trawling, and coral reef fishing.

The New York Times reports on the research:


New York Times op-ed on Oceans in Crisis


.... and Plastic in the Ocean

Is it just me or is everyone having trouble finding a place other than the trash can for plastic grocery bags? The New York City council may have done something to help.

The city council passed an important plastic bag recycling law in January 2008. Stores larger than 5,000 square feet will be required to provide plastic bag recycling bins in a prominent place. This is great news for NYC consumers who often have trouble finding a way to recycle plastic bags.

Plastic bags which can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, can be found almost anywhere in New York City if you look hard enough - slowly tumbling down New York City streets in a light wind, tangled in trees, or stuck in storm drains. Sadly the CMRC has readily found plastic bags floating in the ocean at public beaches, half buried in sand, or flying out of beach trash cans during wind gusts.

CMRC supporters: do your part to recycle plastic bags, join beach clean-ups, and do what you can to reduce plastic bag use!

A link to the legislation:


New York and California are leading the way:


The New York Times article about the legislation:


Plastics in the Pacific