Courtenay students ask Comox town council to clean waters

WatchA grade four class in Courtenay is working on improving our environment. They were recently learning about plastics in our oceans and decided to tackle the problem themselves. Kendall Hanson paid them a visit.

When you consider the mammoth problem of plastics in our oceans one could be easily overwhelmed, but when a class of grade 4 students at Courtenay Elementary school learned about it they decided to take action.

“There’s a lot of micro plastics in the ocean,” said Mya Penzer, one of the concerned students.

They made art to bring awareness to the problem but then one of the students 10-year-old Coton Gilje looked into solutions online and found Sea Bins.

“It brings the water in and then the plastic also comes in,” said Gilje.

Developed in Australia, the Seabins are marina garbage collectors. They filter what shouldn’t be in the ocean for collection.

Gilje proposed to his teacher that they be used at the harbours in Comox.

Then on Wednesday he and nine classmates presented their idea to Comox Town Council.

The mayor and council were impressed.

“It’s great. The younger they get looking at these environmental issues the better off we are,” said Russ Arnott, the Mayor of Comox.

And their teacher says what her students have done is a lesson for us all.

“Everyone can make a small change and these small changes can inspire other small changes and that snowballs and eventually we’ve done something,” said Heidi Jungwirth, their teacher.

Jungwirth says it’s only the second class in her 15-years of teaching that’s taken a proposal to a mayor and council.

Comox Town council asked staff to examine the proposal but the town’s mayor says when elementary students are taking environmental action like this it bodes well for for our collective futures.


Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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