The Conservation Kid

  • Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Status
  • Age Level
    11 to 13 Years
  • Project created by Cash

The Problem

We have chosen to address water quality and wildlife conservation. We are located in Tennessee and the TN river supplies thousands with drinking water hit the river has tested higher for microplastic content than any other river tested in the world to date so we are literally drinking microplastics on a daily basis. We also hope to continue to address and educate fishermen/women along the river anout monofilament and plastic bait that is often tossed in the river. The fishing community here is large and there is so much marine debris that can be assessed and limited with just a little bit of education. I have placed monofilament receptacles for recycling at state parks and have gotten an overwhelming positive response from fishermen as well as park rangers who now educate others when I’m not around. I have also written a children’s book that I would love to get into the hands of more kids to educate them about river pollution. Our oceans get a lot of attention as they rightly deserve but so many people don’t live near the ocean but we need it to be healthy for a healthy life on land and our rivers are the key to that since 80% of ocean plastic starts on land .

Our Plan

We know the starting data for microplastics in the river and we also know there’s a huge need to educate the fishing community which we are already doing. I have placed 16 monofilament receptacles through the river system and have removed 10,000 pounds of plastic and trash from the river to reduce the amount of waste flowing into the river from smaller streams and creeks. After a while we would hopefully retest the river to see if we are making a difference. I already know they is a difference in monofilament recycling here as evidence by the increasing amount of fishing line placed in bins I’ve placed.

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Clean Water
  • term icon
  • term icon
  • term icon
    Water Pollution & Conservation

The Benefit

  • term icon
  • term icon

Here is how the project went:

Through this project we were able to host several Community cleanups to address litter, pollution and increase community involvement. We also placed 10 monofilament bins to increase recycling if discarded fishing line. All fishing line collected is sent to Berkeley Fishing to be melted down and made into fish habitats. 4,000 pounds of trash was collected and close to 300 miles of fishing line was removed from the Tennessee River.

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned our voices matter. We were able to meet with state government officials in our state capital to spread awareness for litter/pollution. We also learned no matter your age, your can make a difference.

What I/we might change:

I wish we were able to involve the media more and further our message that way. Cash has been in the news since he was 7 and now they overlook any project as “same old same old” and don’t cover much of his successes anymore.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Wr had so much fun doing cleanups with our peers. We hosted cleanups with elementary classes as well as youth groups/Boy Scout groups.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Getting out of your “normal” and trying new things and expanding current campaigns is such a fun way to push yourself as well address problems you hadn’t thought of before.

Relevant Links

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Get To Know Our Model

New Report