When looking through your essay prompts one really stuck out, how to reduce waste in our oceans. Now to some looking at a 17-year-old boy growing up in an average town in Arizona, you the reader might be wondering why I am so passionate about this topic. For starters, I was born in Newport California and my parents have made it their mission to take me to a town in Mexico called Rocky Point every chance they could. Now growing up learning to love the sea life and appreciate how they positively impact our world; I took to heart the issue our oceans were faced with. Seeing firsthand turtles wash up with junk around them and fish dying because of waste, I knew change was in order. I researched the biggest polluters of our world and saw how major companies and governments get away each day with this harmful deed without any kind of punishment. Knowing I am just one sole person, I knew by myself I could not do to much but with many likeminded people, we could conquer anything. I made friends with other families around Rocky point and I have made it my mission to organize beach pick ups to help keep our amazing ecosystem clean. I know it may not be a lot to somebody living in New York or Florida, but to me and the citizens of Rocky Point its everything. That’s the beauty in what I have been trying to start. By finding more dedicated people like me, people can band together and clean up lakes, rivers, and oceans. There are companies out there that already do such things like organized sea pickups and that’s amazing. I already support them and contribute donations, but for the average citizen who still has a normal job, this is huge. By organizing small bands of people who want to make the world better, we can take a day or two a week to help our local communities. By having these groups work all over our great Earth, the average citizen can help. Just like when I travel to anywhere with a beach, others on vacation or simple part time residents can do their oceans a great service. After college, I plan to teach my community in Arizona that we can do more. To most living in an area without a big body of water, they may think some of the burden falls on other people who do. This is what must also change, this sort of delusion that no call to action is needed because one doesn’t live near an ocean or lake. We as citizens of the Earth can find a small amount of time each year to travel and make a day trip to clean up our nearest body of water, big or small. While one or two days every 6 months to a year seems small to the average citizen, if every person does such actions it could directly thwart the spread of this man-made disaster that is waste. This new idea of having inland citizens act also helps the waste solution on a much greater scale. With more people being exposed to the problem, hopefully the quicker we all will come to wanting to make a solution. Each and every person that chooses to take part in this cleanup will hopefully realize the dangers and problems our oceans are faced with. With the knowledge gained from such pickups, they might choose wisely when picking government officials or want to press the issue of change and run for office themselves. Knowing all this, Rome wasn’t built in a day and our waste solution won’t be fixed in one either. By starting small, a snowball effect can occur which could change the world for the better.

Essay by: Collin Andrew Shannon
Liberty Highschool

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