I am honored to work with a group of very motivated, intelligent, caring students. Maddie, Maeve, Heidi, Grace, Lucy, and Ari are some of the Colorado Coralition's fearless 7th and 8th grade girls. Whether or not they are planning a fundraiser or are checking each others' scuba equipment, they are always ready to dive into our work. They follow the lead of our high school girls, Liviya and Shai, who consistently radiate a love of learning. Donavan, Malachai, Dan, Jared, and Odin are young men who take responsibility and get things done.
These new members of the Coralition are learning from student leaders like Talia, Brooke, Nova, Mariana, and Colton. They have already worked as a team on the ocean floor, working side by side to plant coral on threatened reefs. They know from experience how powerful this coral restoration project will be, and they are driven to outdo the impressive work they accomplished in Florida two years ago. These Coralition veterans helped write our first successful DonorsChoose.org proposal, and they unfailingly take the lead in activities, fundraisers, research, and discussions.
These incredible students can't wait to prove their leadership, diving skills, and passion for being stewards of the environment.
Our project involves using our recently acquired scuba diving certification to heal our oceans. We are partnering with the Coral Restoration Foundation in Florida to help replenish endangered coral reefs by planting healthy coral fragments on the ocean floor.
We will truly be putting our technical skills, teamwork, scientific knowledge, and leadership to the test. Working with experts and applying our knowledge and skills is a powerful way to help solve the real-world problem of coral decline. In addition to exploring the environmental sciences, we are learning to be the change we wish to see in the world.
In Their Own Words
There is no greater indicator of our oceans' health than coral reefs, which are sadly dying around the world. Some studies suggest that all the coral in the world will disappear by 2050. In Florida alone, 97% of staghorn coral, an important reef-building species, has died. We want to stop this dangerous decline by partnering with the Coral Restoration Foundation.
To help them, we need to charter a dive boat and rent scuba equipment to dive down into their incredible offshore coral nursery and help them harvest healthy staghorn coral fragments. Then we will continue out to the reefs with these coral fragments where we will use our dive training to transplant the coral fragments on the ocean floor in teams.
Our goal is to plant 100 healthy fragments on the bottom of the ocean so they can grow back and begin to replenish the reef. We will use our experience and video of our efforts to tell our amazing story.
We have already been making the most of this opportunity by diving into fundraising projects as well as helping each other as we engage in this meaningful work. We will use our leadership skills on the trip by making sure everyone is comfortable, prepared, and excited to dive to the bottom of the ocean to plant coral with scientists.
We want to learn and achieve as much as possible when we partner with the Coral Restoration Foundation. After this experience, we can teach others about coral decline, as well as help them understand what they can do to make a difference.
This project is important to us because we never thought that we would ever have the chance to scuba dive with our teacher and peers. We wouldn’t be going on this trip without our hard work in school and in the Coralition.
This project proves that grades and work ethic really do matter. This is important to our school community because the kids at our school will see that hard work in academics really pays off. If you work hard in school, you are better prepared to make a positive change in the world!
The challenge that our project will solve is the problem of coral decline. Coral is essential to our oceans' health, but it is rapidly declining due to a range of local, regional, and global factors. The Coral Restoration Foundation's solution is innovative, and we want to be a part of it!
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