International Pellet Watch presents to 7th grade

By staff writer Kyle Wonzen

In December, the seventh grade heard a presentation on ocean pollution that spurred them to action on environmentalism.

Maybelline Yeo is a Ph.D. candidate in organic geochemistry at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. She was representing the International Pellet Watch, an organization that analyzes toxins found in marine debris pellets. Teacher Jeannette Frechou, also the advisor for the BFMS Environmental Club, has ties to the organization, and invited Ms. Yeo to present to the seventh grade while she was in San Francisco presenting at the Geophysical Conference.

The International Pellet Watch invites the public as citizen students to collect and send in little plastic resin pellets they’ve collected at their local beaches to measure ocean health.

These little spheres are raw industrial material that large companies use to  melt and sculpt their plastic products from. They are nearly indestructible, and are transported and blown all over the world. If someone drops plastic in the ocean, it can erode into one of these spheres. It takes around a year for a pellet to pick up toxins from the environment.

For nearly five years, the International Pellet Watch has analyzed, studied, and graphed the data from these collections. pcbsThey use million-dollar equipment to test, freeze, and distribute their data.

Scarily, if you look at our area, we have some of the highest contamination levels in the world.

This revelation showed that we — not just as a school, but as a community — need to pick up our slack. A recent school trash audit has shown that we still throw over half of our trash in the WRONG bin! As a result of these things, the Environmental Club has already picked up beach trash and nurdles to send to the International Pellet Watch.

To thank her for taking time out from her day to present to Bay Farm students, the seventh grade gave Ms. Yeo a blue marble as a token of appreciation. The blue marble signifies our planet from a million miles away, said Ms. Frechou; the worldwide practice of gratitude is performed at BFMS for doing kind acts that involve properly recycling, and awareness towards keeping waste out of the ocean ecosystems.

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