Sunday, March 7, 2021

Environmental writing contest

Council honored each winning student with a framed certificate. PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

Council honored each winning student with a framed certificate. PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

In the last edition of Coastal Breeze News we published some of the winners of the Environmental Writing Contest. The contest is held annually by the City of Marco Island in honor of Earth Day. Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades at Marco Island Charter Middle School and Manatee Middle School were asked to participate.  Overall, 288 entries were submitted!  Coastal Breeze News judged the contest and is pleased to publish the Honorable Mentions:

Bailie Lawfer

Dusty dirt path, old barn we once called home


Like the horse and buggy is now retired to a watery polluted grave.

Retired for good the things we once cherished are now replaced

Replaced causing our planet great and utterly noticeable distress

Our world has changed, dark man made clouds composed of

Ash and soot swirl around our factories where fields once were.

Why is it so hard to breather?

We are slowly but surely ripping and tearing away at our planet.

Is it so hard to choose life over luxury?

Maybe hard but not impossible

Nothing is impossible

We are but a baby bird inches from the ground ready to take epic plunge.

That plunge is safety and well being of our home


Replace your old lifestyle and start anew.

Together hand in hand

The world is our canvas

We are one brush stroke away from tearing it apart. But do your part to

Regain a beautiful picture.

Erick Joseph

I believe that it’s important to protect the environment. I also think that preserving the environment for the future is vital. I know how people can keep the environment clean and safe. We should have more laws to protect animals. Everyone should also help protect the Everglades. In addition, every human being should help stop pollution. That way nature will not have to suffer.

To start off, in my opinion I feel that we should have more laws and rangers to protect animals of all types. The first way we could do this is by stopping the importation of foreign animals, foreign animals pose a threat to native animals. If we don’t defend endangered animals they will become extinct. For example, the bald eagle is endangered in 43 states and threatened in five. Pesticides and heavy metals contaminate rivers and fish. As a result the eagles eat the fish and get sick. Another endangered animal is the California condor. There are only forty condors left. They are a very scarce animal.

To go on, the everglades needs protection as well. If we added laws to guard the everglades, all of its rare species will be here in Florida everlastingly. If the Everglades are protected tourists who come can see spectacular creatures they would never see. This includes alligators, white-tailed deer, herons, and turkey vultures. We do not want the future generation’s hardwood trees, cypress trees, and pine trees. The endangered species of the Everglades will become extinct if they are not helped. The Florida panther, the wood stork, and the American crocodile all fall in to this category.

The change we can make to protect the environment is to stop pollution. Pollution can be extremely deadly to animals and plant life. For example, when citizens drop trash on the beach it increases the risk of aquatic animals getting stuck, eating, or bumping into the litter. An animal that is hungry might be looking for food and might eat a piece of trash that looks like food. The animal will get awfully sick. The building in Florida should be limited. That way numerous people won’t live in animals’ habitats. The more people living in an area mean that there will most likely be more pollution.

I strongly believe that citizens should help to protect the environment. The environment will not be as amazing in the future if we do not defend it. The future generations will never have a fantastic family moment at the everglades or other great habitats without saving them. If we don’t save the environment they will look as filthy as a pig pen.

Bethstyline F. Chery

Protecting Our Florida Beaches

It’s a beautiful summer day in the year 2080. The skies are crystal clear, there’s not a dreadful gray cloud in sight. You are hot and sweltering, you are sweating a bucket of sweat every

Nancy Richie and Council Chair Jerry Gibson hand awards to winners of the Environmental Writing Contest.

Nancy Richie and Council Chair Jerry Gibson hand awards to winners of the Environmental Writing Contest.

second, and you feel like having a fun filled day at one of southwest Florida’s beaches. You remember the sparkling blue water that used to grab your attention and how you relaxed, how you felt when you put your tired feet in the sand and lied back, letting the sun hit your face with its soothing warmth. When you arrive there, the beach water is a sticky brown color, oil is on the sand, trash is sprawled everywhere, and there’s not a single person in sight. You wonder what happened. What has happened is that your beach has been polluted by the careless people of the past. There are many things we can do now in the present to protect Florida’s beaches so future generations can have the great experiences we all have had in one of Southwest Florida’s vast beaches. Here are some suggestions.

For starters, we can organize community trash pickup days and not drop trash onto the spectacular beaches we have here. It is very simple to just carelessly throw our candy wrappers, soda bottles, and other trash on the beach, but it is just as simple to do that as it is to get up, walk a few steps and throw the trash into a nearby trash can or recycling bin, On the community trash pickup days we could have several groups cleaning up different parts of one or more of the beaches we have here in southwest Florida. These pickup days will not only bring the community together but our beaches will stay crystal clear for as long as we want.

The following thing we can do is limit the underwater oil drillings. Anything can happen while oil drillers are drilling. The dangerous toxic and sometimes radioactive waste that is in the oil can really endanger marine life when it is spilled into their habitats. We often use oil to keep warm and fuel our cars, but it can cause hypothermia in marine animals. When oil mixes with water it makes a substance called ‘mousse’ which sticks to feathers and fur. This mixture can mostly harm birds and small, vulnerable animals. The waste produced by offshore drilling facilities can contain toxic metals as mercury, cadmium and lead. These oil drillings can also worsen the global climate change or global warming. We do not need another Gulf of Mexico oil spill that takes months to clean up. Remember what happened with the spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Oil was everywhere and it didn’t settle in one place, it was like an infectious disease, infecting everything in its path. People’s jobs that depend on Florida’s beaches to provide them with fish to sell, marine life that depends on the water ecosystems to supply them with life, and the underwater ecosystems where all affected by this spill.

Also we can protect Southwest Florida’s beaches by not killing some of the major animal groups that keep the food chain moving and the endangered species in Florida. Animals such as, loggerhead sea turtles, manatees, certain types of fish and other marine life keep the oceans ecosystems running. If one food group goes down another builds up and another drops and the cycle keeps going in that pattern and finally all our marine life will vanish. Who knows what will happen to us then. We should only use as much animals as we need. There is no need to waste. Our selfishness to the animals can turn on us and we could regret it forever.

To sum up my thoughts, there is a lot we can do to protect our beaches here in Southwest Florida. I have just given some enormously outstanding suggestions.  Our beaches are some of our greatest resources. They provide us with jobs, food, and the beauty of our beaches is a grand site to see. Let’s protect our beaches, future generations deserve to see the crystal clear waters and the soft sand they could just melt in. It’s up to us to make it possible for them to enjoy our beaches tomorrow.

It was an honor for Coastal Breeze News to participate and we congratulate each student on a job well done!


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