MWRA 2010-2011 Writing Contest Winners

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Nicole Woody
Grade 12, Hingham High School, Hingham
Ms. McNamee, Teacher


You could call me a germaphobe, although I usually prefer the label "cautious". I am not particularly outdoorsy, and I have never tried any sort of aquatic-based sports, probably because I am hopelessly skeptical of the bacteria and gunk lurking in most waters. I am, however, jealous of my sister, who on any given day would rather be rowing. I am always envious when I attend her regattas, and she is rowing on a perfectly placid and clear blue expanse of water. Something incredibly reassuring and empowering happens when humans interact with their natural surroundings, and I regret avoiding them for most of my life.

My Environmental Science class has certainly altered my perspective of our Earth, and has surely inspired me to be a part of the international effort to both praise and care for it. Studying watersheds and pollution particularly enlightened me on the global importance of water. Without a healthy source of water, humans, animals and plants cannot survive. Even so, Americans all too often take our clean and easily accessible water for granted. Environmental Science has taught me that having a clean environment entails more than just that environment ­ it involves human health, economic viability and politics. Similarly, a clean Boston Harbor is more than just a clear body of water. It is a source of life for aquatic organisms and plants, economically and socially useful, and a place of retreat for many Bostonians. Serving as an icon for Massachusetts and a hub for healthy water activities, Boston Harbor’s cleanliness inspires me to appreciate the source of life and enjoy my natural surroundings.  As a borderline germaphobe, I appreciate the Harbor’s cleanliness.

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