NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — With summer camp finally underway, the kids at the Nauticus are creating a boat fleet made from recycled materials and marine debris to raise awareness on pollution issues.
The “Design. Build. Sail” summer camp group is using duct tape to stay afloat while they navigate and race their reclaimed boats through an obstacle course on Fridays.
“These kids are having a blast building and racing in these boats,” said Nauticus Executive Director Stephen E. Kirkland. “But the take-home message is clear – we’ve all got to be conscientious stewards of our waterways.”
The STEM-based summer camp is new this year after a revamp and has been nonstop since it launched on July 13 — during Plastic Free July.
The kids are learning principals such as buoyancy and water displacement, as well as understanding the impact of plastic pollution throughout the oceans and waterways.
“National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that nearly 8 million metric tons of trash enters the ocean each year (the equivalent weight of 138 battleships the size of the USS Wisconsin!),” the team said in a press release.
Nauticus is a River Star Model business, a certified Virginia Green partner, and home to three Seabin trash skimmers making it the first on the East Coast. Since the addition, the team said that over 1500 pounds of trash and debris have been collected from the Elizabeth River.
The Nauticus is also taking extra precautions to keep the campers, staff, volunteers, and community safe. Some safety measures include health questionnaires, contact-less temperature checks, a limited number of campers, and face coverings. The full list can be found here.
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