What’s the O.C.E.A.N. Club up to?

Brooklyn Guarascio, Writer

Central Regional has a variety of extra curricular activities to join, including many sports teams and different clubs. For those who are passionate about our environment and oceans, O.C.E.A.N. Club with Mrs. Haines is something to think about joining. Beach sweeps are done every year, as well as many more fundraisers, and different events to help with animals or other wildlife.

The name stands for “Our Campus’s Environmental Action Network” and it has grown to over 100 members over the years. Mrs. Haines said, “once I became the advisor, I wanted to foster a love for the ocean, the animals in it, and our local environment. I truly and wholeheartedly believe students are the future for these creatures, and without you, there is no hope for them. That’s why I try to set up field trips for the Beach sweeps, to plant dune grass, to donate to our local animal shelters, and to take a trip to show students things they may not get to see around school. So that they appreciate what we have and want to protect it.  We’ve gone to Massachusetts for whale watching, Georgia for a sea turtle release, Maryland for the National Aquarium as well as going to many local places in NJ.” In addition to caring for the environment, you will always have a fun time with the members of this club, while actively helping our oceans.

On the most recent beach sweep, OCEAN members headed over to Seaside where we ended up cleaning by the bay side because a little more help was needed there.  While 80% of the garbage we pick up is plastic, there are always the unusual things we come across. Recently, other members pulled out an old boat’s toilet tank from the water and I personally found a large, rusty old pipe with a hair clip attached to it. You never know what you are going to find or how unusual some things are, but there is always trash to be picked up to help our wildlife and environment. You are also likely to come across some sort of wildlife like seagulls or even stingrays. These beach sweeps are overall great to learn about our oceans and how important it is to clean up after ourselves. We ended our field trip or sweep at a local diner to all have breakfast/lunch together, as well. (Not to mention that Mrs. Haines always gets us munchkins for the bus ride there.)

O.C.E.A.N. Club is up to many things all of the time and is a great way to stay active in school and in our environment. You get to do hands-on activities and it allows you to actually do something to help our ecosystems.