As 2022 comes to a close, the students of Sisters Academy of New Jersey in Asbury Park and Camden Forward School in Pennsauken enjoyed their final SeaQuest lessons and field trips.
SeaQuest is the Littoral Society’s after-school, marine science enrichment program for middle school kids in under-served coastal communities. The program immerses students in a broad range of marine and environmental science concepts and career choices.
This Fall, the girls at Sisters Academy learned all about fish anatomy and morphology, followed by an outdoor lesson on surf fishing, during which the girls practiced casting and used live bait. They also had classroom instruction on topics such as marine debris, oil spills, and the Littoral Society’s Operation Oyster program – which aims to re-oyster New Jersey’s bays and estuaries.
In the marine debris lesson, discussion focused on the trouble our planet faces from the number of single-use items that have become common in the lives of many people, and the re-usable alternatives that are available. That topic led to examination of the dangers oil spills to our environment and different techniques to remove the oil.
During the operation oyster lesson, the conversation was about the importance of oysters and how they used to be prevalent in the Two-Rivers region which encompasses much of Monmouth County. The girls learned all about the Society’s oyster initiatives, including our shell recycling program, and reef restoration and monitoring work. Everyone went home with a decorated oyster ornament of their own!
As part of SeaQuest at Camden Forward School, students visited the Camden County Municipal Utility Authority, more comically referred to by the students as “The Poop Factory”. A better name for this facility would be the clean water factory, given that the regional wastewater treatment system cleans and filters more than 50 million gallons of water per month before releasing the treated water into the Delaware River.
The students also traveled to the headquarters of TerraCycle, a company dedicated to recycling any type of plastic item that your typical town or county won’t accept. On our tour, students saw the innovative ways the company takes old plastic and turns it into new items, the recycling programs TerraCycle offers to businesses and schools, and their newer program called LOOP.
Loop, which was launched in 2019, enables people to shop for brands in durable packaging that is reused until the end of its life, creating a circular system designed to put an end to disposable single-use packaging. Loop partners with brands and retailers to shift from a disposable to durable supply chain so that consumers can shop more responsibly for a wide variety of commonly used products.
The Camden Forward School SeaQuest program will conclude with a field trip to the Camden Aquarium, followed by a trip to Sandy Hook for a tour of the Society’s headquarters and a tasty seafood lunch.