Last year, fourth graders wrote letters to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy requesting that he ban plastic bags in the state. Grade 4 students also designed and sold reusable bags to raise money for 4Ocean, an organization dedicated to actively removing trash from the ocean and coastlines. This summer, Governor Murphy responded to the students in a letter addressed directly to our fourth graders.
“Thank you for taking the time to write regarding your concerns about marine plastic pollution and the threat it poses to our marine life and overall environment,” the letter begins. “Your passion to save animals is unmatched.”
“Like you, I believe that it is important to have policies in place to protect and improve the environment, and I will continue to work with Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe to keep New Jersey clean and safe for our precious wildlife…Switching over to re-usable shopping bags that decompose sounds like a very well thought out plan. Thank you for all the great ideas, and may you continue to be an engaged student!”
The governor’s letter recommended that students continue to research and share ways that community members can work together to protect the environment. Murphy recommended the DEP’s community resource page for further reading, tips, and ideas.
Thank you for your response, Governor Murphy! We’re so proud of our fourth graders for not only finding an issue they care about, but doing what they can to make a difference through fundraising and reaching out to their local representatives. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from more Willow students with ideas on how to better our communities soon!
Read more about Grade 4’s efforts here: