The 4th annual youth environmental action summit in Perdue Hall at Salisbury University

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SALISBURY, Md. – Over 200 students gathered for the 4th annual youth environmental action summit. Kids from Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties celebrated and engaged other youth in student-lead environmental action.

“The youth environmental action summit is a program that supports elementary, middle and high school students in taking action on local environmental issues,” Trelegan said.

Elise Trelegan is the Director for the Youth Environmental Action Summit. She says raising environmental awareness for the youth on climate change is a main goal of the organization.

“It’s kind of having the pulse on what is happening in your local community and understanding how you can make change whether that’s through civic engagement or restoration projects, there are a lot of different ways to take action.”

Trelegan is an advocate for student-led discussions and activities, making them ambassadors for the organization. YEAS youth are teaching hands-on skills to students at Thursday’s summit. One identifying different animals in the watershed, like crustaceans and mollusks.

“We have projects focusing on restoring natural habitats for oysters in the Chesapeake bay and many others in-between,” Trelegan said.

Student leaders Bryan Lozano and Craig Simms, have been advocates for the native bee population. They founded the Buzzing about Bees project for the Eastern Shore leading discussions on the matter.

“They are what bring diversity because they help pollinate all of our native plants,” Lozano said.

“We won’t have a future land to settle on if we don’t have the proper insects, the proper pollinators to make sure we have a proper food chain to go to, that we have produce being produced,” Simms said.

James M Bennett High Science teacher Rob Hopkins says he hopes summit-goers leave inspired to take initiative.  

“I think this is a really cool way for students to see science in action,” Hopkins said.

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