School Environment Award Essay Contest Winners 2016

As part of the SEA program, there is a short story/essay contest held each year. The students are given an environmentally related theme which their stories or essays should cover. At least one winner is chosen from each grade level at each school that submits entries.

1st Place

Operation Ocean Clean-up

“OWWWWW!” Yelled Joey the fish.  “I just stepped on a water bottle that said Aquafina on it!”

“We need to stop these giants from littering, they are always throwing stuff on the ground like water bottles, plastic bag, and fishing lines,” continued the alligator.

“Let’s organize an ocean clean-up! These giants must be stopped before somebody gets hurt!” Joey exclaimed.

“I love the way you think,” added the alligator.

“Shouldn’t we put some flip-flops on so we don’t get hurt on all this stuff?” stated Joey.

“Yea, whatever, I got mad skills for an alligator like me,” replied the alligator.

While they were walking over trash, the alligator almost stepped on a crab named Crabby.  He was laying on his back, tangled in fishing line and complaining.  We helped untangle him and told us, he also wished the giants would stop littering.  Crabby grumbled, “I’ve got a good friend up on the beach who knows a thing or two about litter, maybe we could ask him for help,” so we followed Crabby.  Crabby brought us to his friend Trashy the trash can.  Trashy the trash can was humongous.  He was able to hold enough trash for a whole week before he was full.  Crabby was talking to Trashy trying to convince him to help us, and Trashy was thrilled to help!  “Of course I’ll help.  This is what I live for!” exclaimed Trashy.  Trashy had four trash can friends who he invited to the beach and they placed themselves along the boardwalk.  Finally, Trashy with his loud voice blasted “You giants need to stop littering, give us the trash!” and so they did, but not for long.

Two days later our friend Sunshine the starfish got caught up in a Winn Dixie plastic bag.  After Joey tried to help her, he became caught up in the bag too.  Since Sunshine didn’t have any free arms she called for other friends to help.  After we got untangled, we towed the plastic bag to shore hoping one of giants would pick it up but it sat on the beach as the giants ran by, no one seemed to care.  Joey decided to write a letter to the KOOB (Keep Our Oceans Beautiful) for help.  They were giants too, but they were on the same team as us.  We talked to a lady named Chyane who was nice and advised “Why don’t you put a recycle bin by every trash can you have?”  Then she gave us five recycle bins to put by our five trash cans.  So, that’s what we tried to do but we failed trying to pick them up with our fins and tentacles.  Later, Chyane asked her partner Joselin to help us.  They picked us up and we got to drive in one of those things that transfer giants from one place to another, it was fun!  We placed all five recycle bins next to the trash cans on the beach.  We were so happy, because the plan actually worked for a week or two.  We were swimming freely and having so much fun, there was less danger in the ocean and then… it happened again.  This time crabby got caught up in a fishing line when he was out by himself and sadly he died.  Heartbroken, we went back to the KOOB department and told them what happened to crabby, we were all very sad.  Chyane was very upset and she put an announcement about Crabby on their webpage, billboards, and in their newsletter and that helped a lot.  When the giants heard the story, they felt very bad and immediately things began to change.  Since then, none of our ocean animals have been harmed again.  We thanked Chyane and Joselin for helping us and had nothing to worry about anymore.  So we had a party for Chyane and the KOOB, it was oceantastic!  Once upon a time, we considered those giants to be nothing more than mean animals.  Now our oceans were so clean, thanks to all of our ocean friends, the giants, the KOOB and don’t forget… Trashy!!!   Trashy was always full and all the trash.  Now everything that used to be in the ocean was now in his stomach.  He also met a new mate.  Her name was Lorilez the recycle bin… Ooh-la-la!  So in the end, everyone ended up happy and our ocean remained clean and safe for all types of animals.

Charlotte, Jupiter Elementary, 5th grade

1st Place

Leslie Saves Earth Day

One quiet morning Leslie woke up.  When she rolled out of bed she remembered it was a special day because it was Earth Day!  Leslie got dressed and ran outside to see the beautiful earth.  When she opened the door, it made a creaking sound, and she gasped, “Look at all of this litter!”  Leslie came back inside and ran upstairs to wake up her little brother Chet.

“Wake up, wake up!” she yelled.  Chet jumped up, but when he saw it was Leslie, he laid back down.

Chet moaned, “What is it, Leslie?”

“It’s Earth Day!” answered Leslie.

“What a surprise…” Chet said in a boring voice.  Leslie explained that it was a surprise because litter was everywhere and suggested they get their friends together to help clean up before the big Earth Day Celebration.

“It’s 7:15am in the morning!” Chet whined.

“Exactly,” instructed Leslie, “No time to waste!  Quick, you call your friends, and I’ll call mine!”

Leslie and Chet grabbed some bags and gloves and waited on the front porch for their friends to arrive.  Shayn and her brother arrived at 7:30am and they made a plan to clean up their neighborhood.  Shayn and her brother started picking up plastic bottles to recycle while Chet and Leslie picked up other scraps of litter to place in the trash.  Then Chet’s friends arrived to lend a hand but the litter was too much.  Leslie thought if they could get more help they could finish the job in time for the Earth Day Celebration.  Then she had an amazing idea.  She asked her friends to call a friend and asked them to ask their friends to call a friend.  Then they could multiply the people and help and save Earth Day.  So, everybody stopped what they were doing and called their friends and told them the plan.  Then they got back to work on their street.  When Leslie and her friends finished cleaning up their street they turned the corner onto Pine Street.  They stood there looking amazed!  There was not a single scrap of litter. The people of Pine Street cleaned their street and they did a cleantastic job!  Then the group went on to Smith Street and there were people already cleaning up that street too.  They joined in and helped them clean up the litter.  When they finished, Leslie, Chet, Shayn and her little brother realized that preventing litter should happen every day.  Then they made a promise to keep the world cleantastic for the plants, animals and every living thing each and every day.  Later that day, at the Earth Day Celebration, the mayor gave Leslie a ribbon for her hard work and saving Earth Day. She and her friends even got to ride on a float in the Earth Day parade!

Swetha, Jupiter Elementary, 3rd Grade

1st Place

Samantha the Litterbug

Once there was a girl named Samantha. She always littered. It didn’t matter what her friends and family told her, she just kept on littering. One day, she was done with a banana and she threw the peel of the banana right by a trash can. It was about to storm so she went inside. There was thunder and lightning. One of the lightning bolts hit the trash can, and it suddenly came alive!

It was an evil trash can and it wanted to make Samantha pay for littering. The next day, when Samantha was walking to school with her best friend Rylie, they heard a strange noise in the woods. Rylie thought it was probably just a deer or something, but Samantha wasn’t so sure. She yelled to Rylie, “Run….run! When Samantha slowed down, Rylie was asking questions. Samantha told her about throwing her banana peel on the sidewalk the night before.

“I think the lightning storm may have struck the garbage can and now it’s alive! It wants revenge!” Samantha said. Rylie told her she sounded crazy. Samantha agreed, but decided to run anyway. They ran until they got to school. They planned to destroy the garbage can when they got home. Six hours later, they went looking for the can. Rylie suggested looking in the woods first. As they headed in the direction, Samantha spotted it picking up some trash. Rylie whispered that they should try to sneak up on the can. Aaaaggghhhh the girls yelled, and the can took off. Samantha tried to steer him toward her house. She wanted to chase him towards the fire pit. After running for what seemed like forever, they were getting close to Samantha’s house. BOOM! He fell in.

“That was a close one.” Samantha said. “I sure did learn my lesson.” Samantha never littered again.

Lauren, Meadowlane Intermediate, 3rd grade

2nd Place

Santa’s Day of Littering

One day in Santa’s workshop, Santa sent a couple of elves on a trip to children’s’ homes. The elves watched and watched, until…a litter spree happened! The elves reported to Santa, saying Jameson McFlee has been littering in other people’s homes, cars, and lawns! Santa decided Rudolph should join him to put a stop to the littering! The elves got the super sleigh ready to fly in the night sky, and they left two hours later. Ho, ho, ho! There’s Jameson at house #314, Santa said. The head elf said, “Wait, what? Is he breaking in?”

Jameson was littering in the house with a garbage can. He was dumping all the trash throughout the house. Santa and the elves couldn’t believe their eyes. They couldn’t understand why someone would do something so rude. They followed him as he left toward the mayor’s mansion. They watched in shock as Jameson worked on a litter bomb! As Jameson ran out, he pressed the button to explode the bomb. The North Pole crew, wanted to follow him again, but decided they should clean up the mess first. They knew their hard work would be worth it.

Jameson didn’t realize that a trail of garbage was following him as he tried to escape. Rudolph was the first to notice the clue, and he quickly went after Jameson. When Rudolph returned to the trashed mansion with Jameson, he saw his huge mess, and for the first time he felt sorry for his actions. He worked with the crew to clean up the mess, and promised Santa he would spread holiday cheer and messages to all about stopping litter. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a clean Earth!

Avery, Meadowlane Intermediate, 3rd grade

1st Place

Keep Brevard Beautiful

“Oh…no….who is crying… sounds like someone is in great pain” whispered the plastic bag. “Yes, someone is in real pain…. by the way, who are you” asked the plastic bottle. “Oh…I am plastic bag from Cocoa Beach, thrown away by a careless person” replied the plastic bag. “And I am Plastic Bottle from Melbourne Beach” said the bottle.

“Oh…Look…it sounds like a dolphin is crying for help…let’s go and check it out” suggested the plastic bag. “Hi…Dolphin…I am Bottle and this is my friend Plastic bag…why are you crying” asked the bottle. “I live here in Atlantic Ocean and by mistake I have swallowed a plastic bottle and I am choking on it…please help or else….I will die…..and I don’t want to die….cried the Dolphin. “Every year millions of fishes and turtles die swallowing and strangling on plastic bottles, bags, cans and many more things which are irresponsibly thrown in to the streets and canals that end up here in the ocean….this is going on everywhere in this world” explained the Dolphin.

They took the dolphin along with them to look for help; soon they found a boat with a little boy on board. Upon looking at the dolphin the boy asked his father to help. The dolphin was helped by removing the plastic bottle and sending her back in the water. After seeing this horrific act, the boy made a pledge to himself and went out to make Brevard County the most beautiful place to live in Florida. He made people realized their mistakes and asked them to stop littering the streets and beaches in the county.

The boy wrote an email to the County Commissioner complaining about the litter and its effect on the environment. He suggested that there should be programs where it informs people about how recycling can benefit the environment and also keep our surroundings beautiful. Recycled material is also used to develop new products with less energy and cost. The recycling can also save valuable landfill spaces.

Do you ever wonder what can you do about the plastic bottles, bags and aluminum cans you find around you? Recycling can help save the earth form waste and trash buildup and creates a pleasant world for everyone. In addition, there should be recycling bins at every home, school and public places.

I think that recycling should be mandatory in the Brevard County so the county can be a cleaner and better place to live in Florida. Recycling helps save the earth from overload of cans and bottles and save lives. Start saving your cans and bottles. One can makes all the difference. Start a recycling program today. In fact, it should be made into a new law.

Let’s we all take a pledge today to keep the Brevard County litter free and make it the most beautiful place in the world to live.

Mohammed, Tropical, 3rd grade

2nd Place

Fence Broke!

Chapter 1 Henry the dog

Hi my name is Henry. This is my home,but the thing is today is a rainy day. I don’t like rainy days ew!  I’m not the kind of dog you think I am. I hate water. It gets my fur allowed and soggy. It is the next day and it’s the morning. It’s five-o clock and I’m tired so i will just skip the day and tell you more about myself tomorrow.

Chapter 2 Ow!

I’m back and today is a sunny day, so i’m just going to play outside. I like to play catch and run with Suzy. Oh i forgot to tell you Suzy is my owner. So first am going to run a race with Suzy. On your mark, get set, go! As soon as I knew it I ran into the fence – ow!

Chapter 3 Repairing

I am feeling better now but the repair man is coming over to fix the fence. The repair man is here and I just want to tell you something…wait that noise! I can’t take it anymore so I am just going to stop the story, so goodbye!

Ella, Tropical, 3rd grade

1st Place

Saving the Environment

The world is in danger. Irresponsible fishing, pollution and habitat destruction is harming the ocean and the animals in it. Plastic is the most harmful. It takes 450 up to 1000 years for plastic to decompose. Some plastics won’t ever decompose at all. A shopper uses about 500 plastic bags every year. Turtles often mistake plastic bags as jellyfish and eat them. The plastics get trapped in their stomach which prevents them from properly swallowing their food. You can reuse the same bottle over and over again and you can also bring your own bag to the store. Plastic is hard for a lot of marine life to eat. Some animals can’t digest it and die. The ocean supports 50% of the planets oxygen. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash in the world’s oceans, and each year, 8 million tons of plastic are added to the count. Most ocean pollution begins on land. Exposed soil can erode during rainstorms. Much of this runoff flows to the sea taking agricultural fertilizers and pesticides with it. Eighty percent of pollution to the marine environment comes from the land.

Over fishing is a problem every year. Irresponsible fishers take more fish than they need. They also leave their nets in the water so then other marine life get caught. The nets can also cause coral reef damage. In countries like China, fancy restaurants serve whale meat which is illegal. Many countries also serve shark. They only take the fins and leave the shark to suffer. Many marine animals die every year due to irresponsible fishing. Over fishing can cause extinction to many animals. Another important resource that is running out is oxygen. Cars are big producers of carbon dioxide including humans. Since the majority of people use a car, big amounts of C02 are being created. Fossil fueled power stations also create C02. To help to prevent some C02 we can plant more plants and use a different transportation than a car or bus and use a bike. Without the ocean we wouldn’t be able to survive.

Nicole, Port Malabar, 5th grade

2nd Place


Littering! Littering is a big part of pollution in our environment.

Many people around the world don’t even care about nature and the animals and habitats they live in. The animals will eat the trash and possibly die. Some people who care will find a solution to preventing litter. The three ways I think that will help prevent litter are to encourage your neighbors and friends to adopt a road, report litterbugs, and put it on the news. These ideas may convince people to stop littering.

First of all, to help prevent litter is to encourage your neighbors and friend who may litter to stop and adopt a road. People sometimes try to adopt a road so nobody will litter. For example, if a person were to throw a cigarette out the window and it catches on fire, not only will it start a fire but it is harming the habitats that used to have animals live there. Also you may be the one to take care of the road. You may encourage people to adopt a road so less trash will be on the side of the road and less people will be careless on harming the environment. Not only will you need to stop littering, but if you are having a picnic and your trash blows away adopting a road will teach you a lesson that you will get a fine and people will see you litter.  Adopting a road hopefully will teach people to stop littering; it is bad for the environment.

Second of all, if you report litterbugs it may teach them a lesson that littering is a harmful substance due to the live of the animals that live in this world. Litterbugs will try to litter where they see a bunch of trash so no one will see anyone in particular. Even if a little piece of plastic is thrown out and an animal eats it that animal may have a high chance of dying. Litterbugs may not only be people; it can also be an animal like for instance a dog. Dogs may find trash and go put it in a place where something can get it. The owner will not care but if we start reporting them then they may stop. All around the world there are many people who litter and if they see that people are getting
caught then they don’t want to get caught so to prevent that they may stop. You may also see a change of trash it probably went from a lot to very little. Reporting litterbugs may teach people to stop littering that they are killing animals, habitats, and our environment.

Last but not least, you may convince people to stop littering if you put it on the news. People are listening to all of the animals that are dying because of all the trash that is being transported from place to place. People are throwing trash out their window, and also, if you are on a boat and a piece of trash flies out the fish are being harmed because that will cause their water to be dirty. The news may state that littering is a law and imagine you being one of those animals and you were being harmed. If you were having a party and you put all your trash into a trash bag and put it outside there is a possibility that something is going to get into it and that causes a lot of trash to be blown everywhere. The news may come around and take picture of all the trash that is just in one neighborhood. People may start to care and this may prevent less trash. The news is a great way to each people to stop littering and also it will be worldwide so everybody can see it.

In conclusion, many people need to learn a lesson on how to keep our environment beautiful. The three ways I thought that would help them learn are to adopt a road, report litterbugs, and put on the news. These ways may convince people to stop littering and then the world will be even better than it was

Allison, Port Malabar, 5th grade

1st Place

Sandy Stones’ Recovery

In the neighborhood of Sandy Stones people didn’t bother to throw out waste, the neighbors just threw it out the nearest window. Native wildlife were eating the litter and choked by the litter. Even worse, nobody would report it. Until one day came “The Helping Hands”, the super-hero team taught toddlers, kids, and teens how to stop littering, warn adults, and protect wildlife in the process. “The Helping Hands” planted trees, enforced new laws and rules, and clean the roads. One sad day, Oobleck the Alien King called for “The Helping Hands” to come home. People moaned and groaned for they didn’t want “The Helping Hands” to leave them. They left and people carried on with their lives, still enforcing laws “The Helping Hands” put into place. Still today the teens, kids, and toddlers from back then tell their kids what “The Helping Hands” taught them. The neighbourhood of Sandy Stones stayed clean until Sid the litterer came to town. Sid implied that he was from Gloomy Groves, a place where no one ever threw trash away. Kids wouldn’t stop Sid because the kids were afraid of Sid. Whenever Sid walked, litter would appear magically. People thought it was dark magic that caused this phenomenon. One day, “The Helping Hands” came back to Sandy Stones. “The Helping Hands” were devastated at what they returned to. All of their hard work to change this neighborhood gone. Candy wrappers, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic bags just discarded everywhere. “The Helping Hands” scoured every street, patrolled every intersection in search of this litterer. Days after, they found Sid, the litterer. To human eyes, Sid looked like a normal kid but, to “The Helping Hands” (who had alien vision and could see other aliens from under their disguises) it was Bokobo, the Milky Way galaxy’s worst litterer. Born with the power to drop litter wherever he went he became infamous. Immediately, “The , Helping Hands” caught Bokobo and sent him to Ms. Kneazli’s Correctional Facility. Soon, Sandy Stones was back to normal and everyone was happy!

Cathy, Westside, 5th grade

2nd Place


“Oh my gosh Aliens” Billy said. He was talking about Anthony, one of the most popular kids in school and his friends. Their club name was Aliens because they always talked to each other in another language, and Billy had finally learned that language. The Aliens loved to do things to help the environment and thought that was really cool.

One day Billy was out four-wheeling, in the compound when he found Anthony and his friends picking up trash so he walked over to them. “Hey Billy, what are you doing here?”
Anthony asked. “Just hanging out and having some fun, how about you?” said Billy “Cleaning up the place” Anthony said “this world is disgusting with litter everywhere”. Billy gave Anthony a weird look and before Billy could say anything Anthony said “no more trash means no more pollution.

The next day Billy went to school and didn’t see Anthony so at recess he asked Keith another Alien, where Anthony was. “He’s out today. Yesterday we were out in the compound
picking up garbage when Anthony fell and busted his head open on a glass bottle. He’s still in the hospital recovering from the injury!” Billy was shocked and Keith said “so yeah, you think you could fill in for Anthony and help us with cleaning the environment? I mean you are the only one that can understand and speak our languages.

After school Billy headed home to get his stuff ready to go spend the weekend with his dad when he heard a knock, knock at the door. He opened it and Keith was standing there. “Uh… so how do you know where I live” asked Billy? Keith didn’t say anything so Billy asked “ok then what do you want?” “There’s a site that needs to be cleaned up and I told you earlier I wanted you to come, you in”? Billy nodded yes. When he and Keith get to the place Billy is shocked to see how bad it really is. He looked around and saw dead fish in the water and dead birds and turtles stuck in soda, 6pack, rings. He couldn’t believe his eyes and asked Keith what happened “people are always throwing out their garbage out here like it’s a. trash can and it’s not, it doesn’t belong here!” As Billy looked around he really saw the consequences of littering.

Litter can kill and hurt animals, and it can hurt the earth – the earth we live on.  Always remember helping our environment helps us all!

Braydon, Westside, 5th grade