Students aid in beach clean-up

Twenty-three students, two English teachers and Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra and his wife spent Dec. 7 cleaning Dockweiler Beach at the Environmental Club-sponsored beach cleanup. The group collected more than 50 bags of trash over a span of three hours.

Club co-President Julie Barzilay ’09 supervised the logistics of the trip, and club adviser and English teacher Martha Wheelock coordinated transportation and supplied food for a picnic lunch.

The cleanup lasted from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Most of the trash was concentrated on the cliffs at the top of the beach and the waterline down towards the ocean. Among the more interesting items found were a discarded golf club, a gold coin and one left shoe.

Barzilay asked students to bring plastic shopping bags that they would otherwise throw away to use for trash collection. Rosie Statman ’09 took the environmentally-friendly theme to the next level by biking seven miles from her house to the beach.

After the cleaning portion of the day wrapped up, students played with volleyballs and Frisbees on the much-cleaner beach.

Beaches are rated from A to F based on their cleanliness. Dockweiler has a rating of a D or F, Wheelock said.

Littered across the entire beach front were plastic bottles, dead birds, Styrofoam cups, pieces of metal, needles and various other plastic substances that are a danger not only to the animals that inhabit the coastal area but also to the people who visit the beach each day.

“This event is really great, it makes you feel good to know that you are helping save the lives of animals and helping the environment,” Jack Kuhlenschimdt ’11 said.

The Environmental Club has held beach cleanups at Dockweiler for years.

This year the Community Council oversaw the legal aspect of the trip’s permission forms and liability.

There will be at least one more cleanup next semester, Wheelock said.

“The beach cleanup was not only successful in helping to clean up the environment, but it also helped us to bond,” Nicky Tiger ’09 said. “It was the perfect description of community service, with both the community and service parts satisfied.”