Chelsea Yates, an ambitious 11-year-old, has jump-started a movement to remind people that littering around public storm drains negatively effects the environment — namely, marine life — by posting notices on roadside storm drains in Brunswick, Georgia.

Chelsea, a Girl Scout Troop 30105 member, was paired up with the City of Brunswick by Keep Golden Isles Beautiful Executive Director Lea King-Badyna to help prevent litter from entering stormwater drains. Keep Golden Isles Beautiful (KGIB) matches environmentally-minded Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts with advancement projects that promote a cleaner community.

After completing a project about the effects of plastic shopping bags on the environment, she was inspired to promote clean storm drains. She spends several nights each week posting notices on roadside storm drains, having posted more than 60 of the city’s clean stormwater awareness medallions, which say “No Dumping. Drains to River.”

Chelsea hopes the medallion will encourage people to refrain from tossing trash in drain openings in an effort to mitigate marine debris..

“She’s really saving us some labor, where we can direct our employees to do other things,” said Rick Charnock, Brunswick’s Assistant Public Works Director.“And it is an important message.”

A rising sixth-grader at Glynn Middle School, Chelsea told Larry Hobbs of The Brunswick News that she started this initiative because, “People need to know not to put trash in them because it will go into our waterways. And like, from there, it can go into the ocean where it would hurt sea creatures.That’s why I decided to do this project, let’s put it that way.”

Chelsea, who embodies Keep America Beautiful’s ideals of youth engagement and environmental stewardship, hopes to earn her Girls Scout Bronze Award for community service through her work on this project.

“It’s a wonderful project and a great community service,” said King-Badyna. “We are extremely grateful to her for choosing the project because it’s a wonderful public education effort.”

Since 1979, KGIB has been a leader in helping keep the Golden Isles of Georgia clean, green and beautiful. The organization carries out initiatives such as Adopt-A-Program, Special Cleanups, Neighborhood Cleanups, Litter Patrol, Trash Free Beach and Litter Prevention. For more environmentally-friendly projects, visit KGIB or call (912) 279-1490.

Continue to read more about KGIB volunteer Chelsea Yates in The Brunswick News.

(Photos courtesy of Bobby Haven, The Brunswick News)