Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Isabella Niola, Old Westbury

Have you ever thought about the litter that floats around in our rivers? Isn’t it true that most people would prefer a cleaner environment? I believe so, and as a proud member of Team 74’s Citizen Science Club, I would like to share with you that our team is making a difference!

This is a fun, rewarding and educational after-school club. It has about 30 kids in sixth through eighth grades, and we meet every Thursday afternoon.

Our program is hands-on learning and applies to the Muskrat Cove waterfront park in the Bronx. As volunteers, this club helps us build our creativity, resourcefulness and curiosity.

This year our team is focusing on the theme "The Health of New York City’s Estuary Ecosystem." Our job is to help examine the positive and negative impacts that human activity can have on an estuary ecosystem. Our mission is called Project WASTE. This acronym stands for Waterway and Street Trash Elimination. Our mission involves picking up trash from the Bronx River.

So far, we have gone on two trips to Concrete Plant Park to collect bottles, cans, straws and more trash that we found along the Bronx River. The data we collected shows the excessive amounts of trash in our environment.

We read different articles in class and continue having discussions about how we can stop the trash and preserve our rivers. We must help educate people by teaching them the proper way to dispose of litter. They need to understand that community litter is harming our local waterways. Our team will help improve our ecosystem!

Karen Murillo's sixth-grade class, Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74, Bayside

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access