The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Mission Marine Club bonds together through ocean cleanups

Manya Kumar
Club members pick up trash at one of their many beach clean-ups. “We use the beach cleanups as a way for people to bond with their friends while also teaching them about the importance of recycling,” said Manya Kumar, the co-president of Mission Marine Club.

Community, capability, and compassion.

These are just a few of the ways to describe the Mission Marine Club at Carlmont.

Founded in 2021 by two Carlmont students, the club has grown to host many members at club meetings and events.

“The Mission Marine Club was founded by two Carlmont students in 2021, the return to in-person year. Those students were Maya and Payton,” said Josh Engberg, the teacher advisor of Mission Marine Club.

Mission Marine Club was created to inform students of their effect on the ocean and marine life in general. The current focus of the club is plastic waste and what contributes to the build-up of ocean pollution.

“I think one of the main factors to the club’s success is their dedication to a cause,” Engberg said.

Current co-presidents Manya Kumar and Anika Bock work together to reach as big of an audience as possible to spread awareness about marine life and how simple everyday actions like throwing away trash and recycling properly can reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in oceans. They have been reaching out to more students by doing mini trivia games in the quad.

“I just want to help educate Carlmont on a larger scale, and so we often do trivia where we can talk to people about the biggest contributors to plastic waste because it is actually fishing gear and a lot of people think it is things like plastic straws,” Kumar said.

After a hard day of beach cleanups, Mission Marine Club shows the trash they have picked up on their Instagram. (Manya Kumar)

The club revolves around “beach clean-ups,” where students meet to pick up trash along the beach with their friends and peers. The most popular beach for clean-ups is the Pacifica State Beach. The clean-ups are almost always on Saturdays and last from nine until 11 in the morning.

“The clean-ups are a way for our members to bond while also learning about the dangers of plastic waste,” Kumar said.

The club often collaborates with the Pacific Beach Coalition, a non-profit organization hosting beach clean-ups around the bay.

“We partner up with the Pacific Beach Coalition, and we reach out to them in advance before the clean-ups,” Kumar said.

Alongside the two co-presidents, the club offers three other leadership roles. The vice president has the same responsibilities and roles as the co-presidents but on a smaller scale. The media chair runs the club’s Instagram account, and the service coordinator does most of the planning and preparing for the clean-ups. Lastly, the treasurer handles the money raised from fundraising.

On top of the beach clean-ups, the club also hosts fundraisers to raise money for the club’s future development.

Club members paint their tote bags at the club’s Earth Day fundraiser. (Manya Kumar)

One of the most recent fundraisers was the Earth Day canvas bag painting. For five dollars, students were given a tote bag they could paint on.

“I had a lot of fun at the bag painting, and I hope they do more things like that,” said club member and Carlmont sophomore Sara Ho.

Besides the clean-ups and fundraisers, the club values bonding with friends over their shared love of the ocean. This usually includes carpools to and from clean-ups and occasional potlucks after a clean-up.

The club is always looking for ways to get their message out to the community, so the club presidents have been working on new ideas to accomplish that.

“Anika and I have been working on how we can reach out to the Belmont Library and have more education based programs based on exploring and expanding beyond physical clean-ups,” Kumar said. 

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About the Contributor
Heidi Poole
Heidi Poole, Staff Writer
Heidi Poole (Class of 2026) joined the journalism program this year where she primarily covers local news. Outside of journalism, she enjoys hanging out with friends, playing guitar, and biking.

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