A group of local Grade 4 students are taking it to the beach! Arrowview Elementary’s Garbage Busters Club has turned its focus towards keeping local beaches healthy. Expanding their focus from clean communities, students have designed and created posters to help educate skimboarders about eelgrass and beach conservation.

skimboardposter.jpg“One of the things we’ve learned as part of our nearshore beach study is the huge impact that we have on creatures which live in our beach areas,” says student teacher Janet Richards. With help from MVIHES’ Michele Deakin, students learned about the eelgrass beds along the beach tide line and how skimboarding over and through this fragile eco habitat can adversely affect animals and plants.

Students brainstormed ideas to educate skimboarders to use the beach responsibly including using non-toxic waxes, placing ramps and structures away from the eelgrass beds, and using barren pools instead of tide lines. A new colourful poster campaign will help spread the word to the thousands of beach users this summer. “The students understand that if we take care of this important resource, it will be there when they get older,” says teacher Jodi Waters.

Look for the student posters around Parksville and Qualicum Beach including businesses which support recreational activities along the beach.

This project is part of the nearshore education program offered by MVIHES with the support of the Town of Qualicum Beach, the City of Parksville and Georgia Basin Living Rivers.