Sippican School student aims to keep the earth (and Marion) clean

Apr 17, 2018

Marion's Lily Ambrosi is on a mission to stop pollution.

The Sippican Elementary school student was learning about plastics, the ocean and pollution when she found out that, by 2050, scientists predict that most plastic pollution in the ocean will be due to plastic straws.

Then, she heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of plastic and other trash, spanning from the western coast of North America to Japan. The patch is estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

"Learning about it made me cry," she said. "The worst part was that it was all true."

Ocean animals often mistake the trash for food. Loggerhead sea turtles tend to mistake plastic trash bags for jellyfish, their favorite food. Albatrosses mistake plastic pellets for fish eggs and feed them to their chicks, who die of starvation or ruptured organs. Seals and other marine mammals can become entangled in abandoned plastic fishing nets.

Knowledge of the plastic vortex spurred Ambrosi to look for ways to make a change. First, she emailed Sippican School Principal Lynn Rivet to ask about making changes in school.

She also contacted Rev. MaryAnn Purtill, the pastor of Marion's First Congregational Church, to ask about doing a special service at the church for Earth Day, which this year is on Sunday, April 22.

Purtill agreed with Ambrosi's initiative—the church will be hosting an Earth Day service at 10 a.m. on April 22, for all who are interested in attending, she said. After the service, the congregation will form a procession to an area of Marion in need of cleaning.