Leading a company that faces some of the planet’s most significant environmental challenges can be discouraging. It’s easy to become preoccupied with the massive scope of Earth’s waste crisis. I’ve previously written about how I cope with that, including focusing on solutions like Brightmark’s plastics renewal technology.
After a few days of hanging out with some future environmental leaders, I have a new source of hope to remind me that the future is bright. A few weeks ago, I worked with a group of dedicated students from the International Studies Charter High School in Miami, Florida, to remove invasive and nuisance species from a Miami-area beach, clean up beach pollution, and plant native species that will better support local ecosystems.
The week’s activities were part of our partnership with the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum’s MUVE program or Museum Volunteers for the Environment. Since 2007, this program has led philanthropic efforts in Miami-Dade County through citizen science and coastal habitat restoration, and Brightmark is proud to support its important work. We sponsor MUVE workday events, championing schools, camps, or non-profit groups to participate in environmental and citizen science STEM activities.
Our MUVE events were held on Virginia Key, an area north of Key Biscayne that has been threatened by development and invasive and nuisance species. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to volunteer alongside fantastic Miami students to contribute to the preservation and restoration of this delicate coastal ecosystem.
Following our work with Frost Science’s MUVE program, Brightmark recently engaged in a beach cleanup event in Hollywood, Florida, with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF). This beneficial partnership allows GHOF and Brightmark to educate younger generations and facilitate making a positive environmental impact in real time through boots-on-the-ground initiatives. Beach cleanups teach ages (both young and old) that getting your hands dirty (literally) is sometimes necessary to instill positive and lasting environmental change.
Marine Science Curriculum
If you have not yet heard about our Marine Science 101 Curriculum, which was made in partnership with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and Ocean First Education, I encourage you to read through the lesson plan and share it with educators, friends, and, most importantly, your kids! You can access the curriculum below.
Marine Science Lesson Plan
Marine Science PowerPoint
I was moved by how knowledgeable and passionate the students were. It’s clear that this generation possesses an impressive degree of social and environmental consciousness. The kids I worked with were so attuned to the planet’s issues, yet they tackled the day’s challenging work with levity—listening to music and dancing through it all. They’re my new well of hope. The kids are alright.