Restoring Our Habitat: Renewing Our CommunityI. Restoring Our Habitat: Renewing Our Community
•Who: MCNC Student Group and the Contra Costa MCHS student body
•What: Beach Clean-Ups, Biology Garden, and Earth Day
•When: The 2010-2011 school year that also encompasses the following specific events: Beach Clean-Ups (2.20, 3.20, 4.17), Biology Garden (10-1pm, 2.12), and Earth Day April 14th (10-2pm)
•Where: Beach Clean-ups were held at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The Biology Garden was on our campus and Earth Day will be hosted on the MCHS Contra Costa College.
II. Habitat restoration is our big theme. We are participating in Biology gardens, beach clean-ups, and hosting our own Earth Day in order put the theme to action. In our on-campus biology gardens, we work towards having a functional garden with flowers and fruits. Every weekend, we, along with our peers, water, weed, plant, and care for our plants and garden. With the coastal clean-ups, we walk around the Ocean Beach shore with buckets & trash pickers in hand and scout out garbage like cigarette butts, broken plastics, even some clothing and certain unmentionables. With Earth Day, we usually volunteer to work at the various booths about the Earth, nature, conservation of our resources, and some others of that nature. This year, because of the fact that we were not about to have an Earth Day, we will be hosting it ourselves and are now in charge of getting many of the organizations and other participants that we think would be perfect for Earth Day.
III. In respect to the local habitat around the West Bay Area, the major need in the community is the need to prevent common civilian pollution through emissions (vehicle) and trash in several bodies of water, parks, and reserves. The political standpoint of the environment and our habitat is at a crossroads, with democrats and republicans fighting over the state of our environment.
A problem we have in our community is we do not focus on what is best for the community and its members but what is the simplest thing to do while cutting corners. Our area of residence is the West Bay Area, which, for the most part, contains eco-friendly people. We (the people) choose to help habitats but at times, we are just as ignorant to what needs to be done. If there is an oil spill we would take action but if there are endangered animals due to lack of habitat — many would ignore that fact. As people, we should choose not neglect what is staring us in the face. If we worked harder, then we would not have to cringe at the sight of plastic soda rings around a bird’s neck. To add insult to injury, we construct so many buildings and establishments that the wild has crossed into our roads — the roads that was once theirs. We need to be aware of everything around us and to apply effort to rehabilitate and preserve, as a great society, our nature and nature.
Our community, like most others, is confronted with pollution in our oceans and waters, ruining our human habitats as well as the ocean habitat. Since garbage is carelessly thrown out to the ocean, or on the street, which ends up in the oceans, it has created a garbage problem throughout our community, including ion Ocean Beach. In addition, the lack of caring for our Earth has harmed the world immensely, which is why we have planned our Earth Day event for our community. As the MCNC group, we had to receive permission from the (Ocean beach administrators) to clean the beach and we had to get permission from the Grounds and Building representatives in order to hold the Earth Day even on our campus. Apart from that, we have gotten the help and resources from Recycle More, the company that has hosted Earth Day for the last 10 years.
IV. Through hosting Earth Day, we will be educating the community so that it harmful waste and pollution to our city will reduce. It is through education that we can negate harmful actions such as throwing plastic away instead of recycling, pouring toxic chemicals down the waste, urging companies to use greener products, and littering instead of throwing away trash. By attending beach clean-ups, we are providing a cleaner environment for the animals in the area and in the water, decreasing the amount of animals that become extinct due to pollution, and lessening the risk of humans obtaining high levels of toxins/chemicals through eating these animals.
The people and the animals benefit from our project. The animals gain a cleaner environment to live in and we obtain healthier food because the animals have fewer toxins in them. The habitat is also better place to be in. No more will Ocean beach be a beach with trash polluting its shores and waters, but rather a pristine beach is for the betterment of the people and animals in the area.
V. For the past few years, we have been participating in the Local Earth day. This day was dedicated to educating the local community about our Earth, what we can do to conserve our resources, and why it is important to treat our Earth with respect. As of this year, the previous vendor is not hosting the event. The culmination of us wanting to educate the community about the Earth, and there being no Earth Day event led to the obvious answer of us hosting an Earth Day ourselves.
Every year, Middle College High School and other high schools like it come together to share ideas about saving the environment. This year our theme is “Restoring the Habitat.” At the end of April, students from Middle College High School will travel to North Carolina and share various projects that we are working on as well as get ideas from other schools. We have chosen to take on two projects, hosting Earth Day and restoring San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Like with many projects there are obstacles that can hold us back. First and for most is the economic crisis that our school is currently facing. The funds that we have are minimal and going on this trip and hosting Earth Day can be very costly. Along with money, being an issue the weather is also very hard to deal with. We have our days scheduled for Ocean Beach cleanup days; however, there have been times where we must cancel due to horrible weather conditions. Getting through these obstacles is difficult but we, as a group, do the best we can.
VI. For our project, we received assistance from many local/nearby organizations such as Kids for the Bay
The Watershed Project
Urban Creeks Council
Urban Tilth
West County Resource Recovery
Waste County Wastewater District
Contra Costa College Green Business Program

The Watershed Nursery
Rising Sun Energy Center
Neighborhood House of North Richmond
Richmond Sanitary Service
San Francisco Surfrider Foundation
These organizations were previously part of the annual Earth Day hosted by Recycle More. With the help of Claudia Taurean, the Recycle More Administrator, we are making Earth Day possible.
VII. Our allies are Recycle More, the MCHS Biology Garden, the Watershed project, and the Audubon Society. The work done by students and faculty from MCHS has also attributed to our overall project. There were hardly any opponents other than inclement weather and the ability to fundrai fundraise in the evident economic crisis. We swam against the current vigorously by rescheduling events, spending Saturdays and Sundays working, and by using our tools to do the best we can.
VIII. Our legacy will impact how the future students of Middle College positively affect their community’s environment by educating and involving them in our project. Our project encompasses collective thinking as well as revisiting and cleaning problem areas such as Ocean Beach and providing a platform for our students and community to learn and take advantage of the ecologically friendly resources offered by local organizations at our upcoming Earth Day.
IX. Our project can be sustained over time when we officially adopt ocean beach.

When adopting the beach we will have the ability to plan clean-ups through the school instead of the Golden Gate National Park Conservatory. We could host clean-ups not only for students at our school but for the communities surround the area. These clean-ups would be hosted every two weeks on either a Saturday or a Sunday. Our leadership class and our school’s biology club would also have an instrumental part in insuring that the clean-ups continue through their combined efforts with our group.
This is the first year that Recycle More was not able to host Earth Day due to budget cuts. In order to continue hosting Earth day in the future, we will continue to write grants in order to fund the event and contact different agencies related to clean energy, recycling and habitat restoration in order to include them in Earth Day.

Together we can restore our habitats and renew our communities!