Anchorage high schoolers learn how far — and remote — trash can travel via the ocean

Updated: May. 3, 2023 at 3:55 PM AKDT
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Thirty-nine Dimond High School students in Mrs. Catherine (Cat) Walker’s marine biology class recently spent the day picking up trash in Prince William Sound cleaning some Whittier beaches as part of class project. What they found — and how much they found — is then taken back to the classroom to be cataloged and then recycled and repurposed by local engineering firm PKS. They found everything, from lots of fishing nets to a kitchen sink, to even a Russian shampoo bottle. Some of the found trash is then ground up and used to make a recycled lumber called grizzlywood. The rest? The class decides how and where it can be best reused and not put back into the trash cycle. The trip is a partnership with Dimond High School’s NOAA Ocean Guardian Program and shipping company Matson. The NOAA Ocean Guardian Program is facilitated by the NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program. And as a side note, teacher Mrs. Catherine Walker just found out she is one of four finalists for Alaska Teacher of the Year for 2022-23.