The Surfrider Foundation: Protecting Oceans, Waves and Beaches since 1984

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Project: Beach Preservation

Lanoka Harbor Mare Day

Promoting a healthy Barnegat Bay and Atlantic Ocean

Project Description

I have three children attending Lanoka Harbor Elementary school. Lanoka Harbor is a coastal town connected to Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. Every year, the school promotes a yearly project related to the ecosystems in the ocean and bay.  The project culminates in May
with a celebration called "Mare."  At Mare, the parents and students visit the school and walk through the classrooms which display the
 year long project that each grade has been working on.  The project usually consists of a large diorama, highlighting a plant or animal
 that live in the bay or ocean. 

For the Mare celebration, each child is required to bring in a white tee shirt, on which they paint a sea scape, usually a crab or plant. Inevitably, the parents have to buy a blank white tee shirt for the kids to paint which is a waste of money and natural resources.   The  kids never wear the tee shirt and it gets thrown away almost immediately.  The cafeteria also serves snacks and gives out single-use, plastic water bottles.  I have attended Mare for the last three years and the irony always bothered me.  The children and township are celebrating a great natural resource that we are fortunate to live by, but the celebration itself is detrimental to the resource we are celebrating.

Concrete Goals

Change Lanoka Harbor Elementary School's "Mare" celebration by replacing the tee-shirt painting and single use plastic water bottles currently being used, with a reusable water-bottle (or something similar) that the kids can decorate.  This will instill a better message of stewardship for the bay and ocean.

Specific Plan

Find a partner that would be willing to provide reusable water bottles  for the kids to decorate.  We would need to coordinate the "sponsor"
with the school.  I know Surfrider recently partnered with a reusable  sandwich bag company.  This would also be a good sponsor.

Project Leaders

We are married with 4 kids. Whole family enjoys going to the beach.  I am an attorney, I own a law practice in Toms River, NJ.  My wife Tara,
owns a printing company.  We enjoy surfing, SUP, and running.  We are both Surfrider members.

Promotion & Documentation

Resources

time and effort.  We would do whatever was needed to facilitate and coordinate.