Waterway Cleanup - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Waterway Cleanup

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WSVN -- These students from New River Middle School are on a mission to clean up the environment. One piece of trash at a time. Under the leadership of 7th grade teacher Barbara Rapoza. They learn by taking a hands-on approach.

Barbara Rapoza: "Our first project was making the community aware of the waterways and the trash that's put in the waterways."

Their focus today, picking up bottles, cans and plastic bags left behind before they end up in the water.

Barbara Rapoza: "Like a lot of vacant lots that are along these waterways, when the wind blows the trash into the water, that causes a lot of problems there."

It's also a problem along our beaches. That's why every year Barbara brings a group of students to take part in Broward County's largest waterway cleanup. Last year, they scoured the beaches of John U. Llyod State Park.

Kiki Becker: "I just love it because I feel I can make a difference and I can actually do something."

12-year-old Kiki looks forward to the event every year. She says you never know what you'll find.

Kiki Becker: "It was like a shampoo bottle and I found a lighter too. I thought how did a lighter end up in the ocean?"

Her mom says the cleanup has taught her daughter a valuable lesson, take care of our earth.

Mom: "We don't go to a park, we don't go to the beach, without making sure that we don't leave a footprint behind."

The students recycle all the cans they pick up and frequently test the water for any pollution, 14-year-old Julie says every little bit helps.

Julie Hassenplug: "I feel happy when I'm doing it and proud because I know I'm helping the environment, and I know I'm only one person but with all the other people doing it, it helps."

Barbara's goal is to keep these kids excited about protecting our land and sea.

Barbara Rapoza: "After all we depend so much on the ocean for our own existence we have to keep our waterways and our ocean clean.

The 35th annual waterway cleanup has grown into a 21-site event with thousands of volunteers. If you would like to take part mark your calendar for Saturday March 10th.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  

Broward County's Largest Waterway CleanupMarch 10, 2012http://www.waterwaycleanup.org/

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