Today we were able to discuss the importance of reef conservation and restoration, as well as meet several St. Croix biologists and marine management professionals at East End Marine Park. Students were able to ask questions about local and federal efforts to promote biodiversity and reef health as well as to inquire into funding and potential political constraints. One of the most impactful parts of the meeting was seeing the Visitor Center and all of the interactive activities (i.e., “colorful creatures,” ocean video, a light-up watershed pollution topographical map, fishing, and protected species identification, etc.). Because people are most receptive to environmental conservation and species protection from grades 3-5, it is incredibly important to capitalize on that and create attention-grabbers to increase engagement.
Limetree Bay Oil Refinery.
The second thing I wanted to draw attention to today was our drive-by of Limetree Oil Refinery. Despite our many class presentations and extensive research, I was ill-prepared to see not only the size of the plant but its proximity to the three local school areas (the high school, elementary school, and middle school listed from closest to furthest). Even though it is currently not operational due to EPA violations (refer to the Clean Air Act section 303), it is a physical reminder of not only all the environmental and human health effects endured by the community but also the absurdity of the current energy cost of the locals (despite their proximity to their energy source). The need for renewable energy is real.
- Kate Schiliro, Colorado College
*Unrelated, but shout out to @SchiliroParentals for the support throughout this experience-- I can’t wait to keep learning more.
Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | firstname.lastname@example.org