S!NERGY: Ideas from Youth on Protecting New Jersey’s Waterways #USA

On October 2, 2021, the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace co-hosted a S!NERGY event online with the New Jersey Ocean Tribe on the theme, “Creative Solutions to Accessing and Protecting New Jersey Waterways.”

Three presentations were given live to a panel of judges by individuals and youth teams. The judges evaluated their theme-related ideas and proposals. During the event, audience members watching through livestream on Facebook were also able to cast their votes online. Each presenter secured a placement and received a cash grant.

In first place was Jung Hae Joo with her presentation, “Project: Plastic Scenery.” Her proposal addressed how to collect and remove microplastics from the river using ferrofluid. The outcome she desired was to reuse the collected microplastics into constructing outdoor structures, such as park benches and art sculptures.
Second place went to Asami Maruyama and Hana Tripathee with their team’s idea called, “Trash Trend Project.” They hope to create an online, viral trend that people can join to promote cleaning litter and preventing trash from being washed into the rivers.
Taking third place was Kai Schnetzer, who created a proposal with Takafumi Mashiko and their youth group. Their project, “Marine Life Stewardship,” addressed the problem of invasive species in New Jersey’s rivers, specifically the snakehead fish in the Delaware River. They proposed hosting a fishing tournament that targeted the snakehead fish. Due to invasive species needing to be eliminated rather than being returned into the rivers, the team also wanted to collaborate with chefs and volunteers to cook the fish after the tournament so that the fish would not go to waste.