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Bend’s Environmental Center sending rep, two HS students to Alaska to help remove ocean plastic

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Gaining leadership development, STEM career education and environmental stewardship skills, The Environmental Center’s Jackie Wilson and two local high school students will join the Ocean Plastic Recovery Project on an expedition to Katmai National Park in Alaska to remove marine debris alongside scientists, advocates and environmentalists.

The goal of the project is to remove 25 tons of ocean plastic from the marine environment and improve approximately 500 acres of coastal habitat for salmon, bears, and other wild inhabitants of this 4,000,000-acre park.

“I am thrilled to be able to bring this education and leadership opportunity to local youth and see the expedition and learning through their eyes” says Wilson, who participated in a similar expedition last year with a fellow Environmental Center staff member, where they picked up over 8,500 pounds of plastic waste from the remote environment.

Upon their return, students will share what they learned with their community here in Central Oregon and look to integrate more opportunities like this one for students that participate in The Environmental Center’s youth education and leadership development programs.

The two participating students, both juniors, are also active in the Green Leadership Coalition, a group by and for high school students across Central Oregon working together to amplify sustainability and environmental justice issues.

Their expedition has been partially funded with generous support from Children’s Forest of Central Oregon and Mt. Bachelor, as well as a handful of community members. Students are still seeking additional funding to help pay for travel, lodging, food, and gear. Donations to support this trip can be made at:

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