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York student wins environmental grant

There are many ways to be green (or if you prefer, environmentally conscious). Andrew Hayford, a York High School sophomore, is one of 10 students nationally to receive a $1000 Planet Connect grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation for his proposed project to reduce beach pollution in southern Maine.

From the March 3, 2010 Portland Press Herald:

Hayford’s plan details his commitment to collect trash along Maine’s beaches and record those findings to benefit beach pollution research for marine science groups. His campaign also is designed to engage community members of all ages and affiliations in helping to eradicate the state’s ocean pollution.

…For phase one of the project, dubbed “Clean Beaches, Clean Ocean,” Hayford will compile a list of pollution-prevention tips that he intends to distribute to local businesses who pledge to get the word out to their customers, who are likely to frequent southern Maine beaches. He also hopes to speak with York elementary school officials to propose a project asking grade school students to submit ocean-themed art work contest to be considered for an anti-litter advertising campaign. The winning submission will be transformed into a “Blue Ocean Friendly” decal to be displayed at participating businesses that pledge to join the litter-prevention campaign.

…Andrew is even more eager to educate others about the harmful effects of litter. The garbage is not just on the beach. It’s in the water.
“I’m really hoping to get the message across to people of all ages that our beaches need to be taken better care of,” said Andrew.

“Whatever kinds of trash you can think of, we find on the beach – from cigarette butts to tampon applicators, tires and lobster traps. It’s important for people to remember that these waters are essential for marine life and human life.”

Read more about the grant and the Hayford family’s other environmental contributions.

Kudos to Andrew for his commitment to making our beaches cleaner and congratulations on the grant award.

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