Pegasus Group Tabbed for Environmental Summit

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By Sara Hall | NB Indy


Newport Beach students will be attending the Algalita Plastics are Forever International Youth Summit in March with their school team from Pegasus.

The Pegasus team is one of 27 selected from 74 that applied to attend the event. The summit is designed to connect, mentor and inspire youth leaders nationwide in creating and promoting action-oriented solutions to reduce plastic waste in their home communities. Fourteen countries will be represented at the summit. The event will be held March 11-13 in Long Beach.

“Our goal is to provide scientific data to the city council members of both Huntington Beach and Newport Beach in order to prove the need for a solution to the trash problem across the Santa Ana River,” said Shalini Mattina, associate director of advancement for Pegasus.

The program is hosted by Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Algalita reviewed more than 250 student submissions. The students created a project proposal after doing research about how to solve the plastic pollution problem in the worlds’ oceans.

Finn Dobkin, an 8th grader from Newport Beach, organized his team of eight students. Their project focused on how to keep the Santa Ana River and local beaches free of plastic. The other team members include: Claire and Edward Goul of Newport Coast; Jodie Horowitz, Natalie Lowenstein, and Joanna Yuan all of Huntington Beach; Alisa Bhakta  of Irvine; and Ann Garth of Long Beach.

The students started their research on Dec. 11 at Huntington State Beach with Environmental Director Pam Conti. They documented the trash flowing down the river as well as on the beach.

The team will also get to assist Bill Cooper, a professor at UCI, in his lab, where they will learn how to gather and report their findings.

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