Oakland schools recognized by NOAA for environmental projects

Lyanne Melendez Image
Saturday, December 12, 2015
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Students at three elementary schools were awarded money from NOAA for recognition of their habitat restoration project and reducing pollution.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Second graders at one Oakland aren't allowing the rain to wreak havoc at their nearby canyon. They've been involved in a habitat restoration project and that is one reason why they received money from a prominent environmental agency.

Beaconsfield Canyon in Oakland has many volunteers to help with its restoration, but perhaps no group is more passionate than the second graders from Joaquin Miller Elementary.

"We pulled eight bags of invasive plants. This will keep Sausal Creek healthy," said one student.

Improving and maintaining Sausal Creek is also one of their duties.

All over the canyon there are habitat restoration projects and what these kids have done is something that could help protect the area during El Nino.

"We use shovels to dig down to the roots and pull up," student Tucker Eddy explained.

They replaced the invasive plant with native ones.

"Even at the top of the watershed you need these plants to kind of stabilize these areas because with the rains that are coming, with El Nino, a lot of these areas are going to be washing through and you need these plants," Seaberry Nachbar from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

NOAA was so impressed the agency awarded them more than $6,000 to be shared with three other East Bay schools that are also helping to save our oceans, because eventually everything ends up there.

Hillcrest Elementary School, also in Oakland, transformed plastic bottle and bags into useful objects.

"We are trying to keep our community free of trash and keep the ocean free of trash," student Benjamin Salop from Escuela Bilingue Internacional said.

The money they received will be used to keep their conscientious programs going.