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MWRA Writing Contest Winners 2004-2005
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Honorable Mention Grades 9-12
by Renai Gildea, Grade 10
Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree

Mrs. Zhaurova, teacher
Jane Funderburk, dean
Meryl Baxter, dean

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Expanding Awareness of Today's Youth

In 1983 when the clean-up of Boston Harbor was enforced by the Conservation Law Foundation, the MWRA had 300 years worth of waste to get rid of. They reached this goal by enforcing the reduction of waste, eliminating sludge discharges, improving treatment of Boston's sewage and relocating sewage tunnels 9.5 miles off shore. But the question is now that Boston Harbor is a clean and safe place for the public, how do we go about keeping it that way? How do we continue the MWRA's efforts so we don't result in the same problem 300 years from now? The MWRA already has plans of its own. For example, the sewage and overflow discharge control plan and the "no discharge zone" plan. I however suggest more emphasis be put into public awareness. I believe it would be most effective if we target children and young adults. This essay is a great start but there are many more ways to expand this idea. For example, we can start by forming a committee of young adults that can be supervised by an MWRA official. The goal of this committee would be to raise awareness of what MWRA has done and the importance of keeping the harbor clean and the pollution down. They can achieve this goal by making public service announcements; they can go to schools and talk at assemblies; start fund-raisers and put up posters around their communities. Anything to encourage the public would be appreciated. They can also set up an annual MWRA weekend. Fairgrounds or a park can be rented out, children can play educational games and MWRA sponsors could inform adults of the strides they made. There are so many ways to better Boston and one of the best ways is through children. If we can teach the children of Boston and other surrounding communities to be respectful of the environment, especially the harbor, it is likely that they will grow up teaching the same values to their children and perhaps in 300 years we will have a better Boston than we do now.

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