Green Acres 6th Graders Are Determined to Keep Our Oceans Clean

Green Acres 6th Graders Are Determined to Keep Our Oceans Clean


As the holiday season approaches, those who celebrate with gifts are likely beginning to hit the mall, hoping to check all their loved ones off of their holiday shopping “to-do” list. According to members of the Middle School Marine Biology Club, though, there’s one person who might be missing from that list of loved ones: Mother Nature. Fortunately, the club knows exactly what she wants, and it might be the least expensive gift you ever give—that is, to care about our oceans.

The Marine Biology Club, so vocal now about its mission to help the earth’s oceans, surprisingly did not exist before last year. After learning in class about the dangers that humans can sometimes unintentionally pose to sea turtles, Julia R. ’22 and Radmila S. ’22 were inspired to create a club that would raise money for charity and help Green Acres to become even more conscious of its environmental impact than it already is as a certified Green School. Soon joined by others—including Rachel S. ’22, whose first foray into the club was during a visit as a then-prospective student—the club picked up speed. Recently, these ambitious students were named “Protectors” of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which means that they can go to the Chesapeake for on-the-water classes. From the seed of an idea to an official letter from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Marine Biology Club has made huge strides.

Following a successful bake sale last year that earned $218, Kunzom S. ’22 is excited to think about more ways that the club can fundraise. In addition to raising money, the club is interested, first and foremost, in raising awareness. Members have organized campus clean-ups and have presented to Lower School students, Middle School students, and GASPA about ways to reduce one’s adverse impact on the oceans.



While the mission of improving the health of our oceans is a broad one, these Middle Schoolers know that their success will come, in part, from focusing their energy on manageable, concrete goals. Xander G. ’22 is always ready to talk about the club’s work to eradicate the use of plastic straws. He understands, though, that change is gradual, so he’s setting his sights first on making changes at Green Acres—something that he hopes will then set a positive example for other schools in Montgomery County.

Aside from what the club does for the campus and the ecosystem, members feel that the club has done a lot personally for their growth as collaborators and leaders, too. “I think that it’s good to be part of a team and to have a group of friends who care about the things that you care about. We have a chance to meet older and younger kids, and learning to be part of team together and sharing ideas are skills that we will have for the rest of our lives,” says Rachel.

Ultimately, Marine Biology Club members believe that education is the key to making change, which is why they’re so committed to speaking to students and parents alike about how their behaviors can impact the environment for better or for worse. Their activism and passion for educating others is a tribute to the thought-provoking and meaningful classroom lessons, discussions, and simulations that they’ve engaged in as Green Acres students. In lieu of parting words, Kunzom simply says, “It’s not just marine biology. It’s a skill in life—you need to start doing something. Go out there, start talking, and inspire kids your age to do the same thing.”