Written by Kailani Lenert*
Age 12, 6th grader at Coronado Middle School

I live in Coronado, a location in which I am surrounded by water.  Most of my time is spent in the water paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, swimming and exploring the animals that live there. I love adventuring and exploring our ocean shores while walking and tidepooling.  When the water is clear, I can jump in the water anytime I want to and enjoy being free. When the water is dirty and unsafe, my world comes to a halt! I can no longer do the things I love. I also worry about all of the ocean life that can’t just stay out of the water like me because it is their home.  The dolphins that I see frolicking in the waves, the bat rays and stingrays I paddle around, the pink flamingo I watch eating out of our bay, the osprey that snacks on the fish swimming in our waters. What happens to them?

My family and I have traveled the world searching for hands on experiences with ocean wildlife.  I have swam with manatees in Florida, octopus and lionfish in the Bahamas, Giant Stingrays in the Cayman Islands, sharks, dolphins and triggerfish in Hawaii, octopus in Mexico, and jellyfish and sea turtles in Cuba.  With all of my travels I have never seen anything like the unclean water we have here in Coronado. Around the world the water is clean and clear, such a pleasure to explore in! Here I have to check the water report daily to see if the ocean is even safe for me to swim in.  

The ocean and marine wildlife are so important to me that I created a club called Coronado Sharks and Mermaids to help save the planet.  I created this club to bring together like-minded kids who have the same passion for clean water, healthy oceans, and wildlife as I do! Together we do beach cleanups, marches for clean water, tidepooling to learn about what animals and creatures live here, and meetings to educate ourselves on how we can make a difference.  The world is seventy percent ocean water!

*#mycleanh2ostory is written by local activists who are fighting for clean water.