This is the twelfth and final in a series of posts about this yearâ€™s Ocean Hero finalists.
Weâ€™re rounding out our series on the Ocean Hero finalists today with Andrew Hayford, a high school junior who has been an ocean conservation stand-out in his hometown of York, Maine.
Andrew first got involved when he was learning to surf at age 12 and noticed trash in the water and on the beaches. Heâ€™s been working to clean up the coast of southern Maine ever since. Since 2006, he has been involved in almost 30 beach cleanups and has hosted more than 10 of his own.
In 2010, Andrew won a Planet Connect grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation to educate 150 kindergarten and second grade students about ocean pollution and how they could help. He conducted an art contest with these students, which became the centerpiece of his â€śKeep Our Beaches Cleanâ€ť campaign.
Hereâ€™s a little gem for you today, sent over to us from our friend Sara Bayles at the Daily Ocean.
Inspired by Saraâ€™s beach clean-ups in Santa Monica, CA, mother of three Danielle R. started doing her own clean-ups in Wrightsville Beach, NC. She and her kids focus on collecting and counting the cigarette butts they find on the beach, and Destin Cretton created a short film about Danielle (and Sara). The film was chosen as a winner in the Brita FilterForGood Film Project, and will air on the Sundance Channel.
As youâ€™ll see when you watch it, itâ€™s astonishing just how many they find in a short amount of time. In just nine days, they collected almost 3,000 cigarette butts.