Celebrate World Oceans Day with local schoolchildren

The event, titled Protecting Our Planet, is organized by the Environment Agency’s plastics and sustainability team as part of the Interreg Plastic Pollution Prevention project.

Primary and secondary year 6 and 7 children (aged 10-12), from 25 schools in Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight, will hear from leading young environmentalists, take part in a question and answer session and participate in a series of interactive workshops.

The renowned young speakers will be:

  1. Amy Meek, 18, co-founder of the Kids Against Plastic charity and campaign: Amy and her sister Ella Meek founded their campaign and charity, Kids Against Plastic, in 2016 after learning about the goals United Nations Global Forum for Sustainable Development and the recurring problem. plastic pollution. Their mission to make a difference started as a homeschooling project and has since grown into an award-winning charity. They spoke at various events and went on to do a TEDx talk.

  2. 12-year-old Lucie Parsons started her journey with a village trash collector after being devastated by the effects of plastic pollution, then became an ambassador for Kids Against Plastic: Lucie recently had her first academic paper – A journey of emotions by a young environmental activist – published by the Royal Geographic Society. She also visited the Scottish Parliament and spoke with a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. She has lectured at local schools and spoken at the European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna, which was attended by over 16,000 people.

  3. George Hassell, 17, aka blogger Green Fingered George: George was crowned RHS Young School Gardener of the Year aged 8 and became the first RHS Young Ambassador in October 2015 aged just 10. Her job is to inspire other kids to share her passion for gardening and the natural world. Since then he has spoken to the Houses of Parliament about young people in horticulture and has made several appearances on CBBC’s Blue Peter and Newsround.

The workshops will be facilitated by environmental organizations, including:

  • The Manta Trust where students will have the opportunity to become manta ray researchers to identify the manta’s unique spotting pattern, explore manta ray threats and see how microplastics amplify the food chain.

  • A Density Workshop by The3Engineers, which will explore how density varies in different solutions, including freshwater and saltwater, making the connection to plastic litter on our beaches, with a final look at how a submarine rises and sinks.

  • A ‘wilder schools’ session led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

  • An information session with the charity Final Straw Foundation which works with businesses and communities to improve the health of the oceans.

Around 12 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year, which is equivalent to one garbage truck load every minute. By minimizing avoidable plastic consumption, everyone can help reduce the impact of plastic on the planet, helping to reduce carbon footprints and contributing to the climate crisis.

Jessica Hickie, head of the Environment Agency’s plastics and sustainability team, said:

Plastic pollution has a devastating impact on the environment and continues to create both opportunities and challenges for us as a regulator, operator and adviser.

We at the Environment Agency are already taking the initiative to reduce our own impact when it comes to plastic use, including that of suppliers, but through our public engagement activities, such as this conference for children of World Oceans Day, we also want to influence behavior change. to help reduce avoidable plastics. We work across multiple sectors to make this happen – agriculture, business, communities, sport, and more.

But it is in our work with the education sector that we believe we can make a lasting difference. We want to inspire the next generation of young people to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects to help solve some of the biggest problems facing our planet. We hope the conference will encourage students to start having these conversations.

World Oceans Day is an annual United Nations event to remind everyone of the major role the oceans play in our daily lives. It was launched in 1992 and more than 140 countries participate in it today.

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