How Volunteering Inspired this 8th Grader to Start His Own Research

Benjamin Chang testing the watersI know what you are thinking: wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to identify potential eelgrass restoration sites? Okay maybe it’s not top of your mind, but after volunteering with us on our Eelgrass Restoration Project, that was top of the mind for a local Orange County eighth grader, Benjamin Chang.


Benjamin Chang loves scienceMeet Benjamin:

Benjamin attends South Lake Middle School in Irvine. He loves nature and enjoys being outside hiking and biking. He first learned about eelgrass through volunteering at Orange County Coastkeeper's Eelgrass Restortion Project in July of 2014, where he saw that eelgrass is a vital part of water habitats. Knowing their importance and that eelgrass populations are continually decreasing across the world, Benjamin was inspired to start his own research project.

Benjamin Chang testing for eelgrass

Benjamin wanted to find the most ideal location(s) for growth and restoration of eelgrass. Using the eelgrass restoration site map on our website, Benjamin went out to the  eelgrass restoration locations to check factors like sunlight, turbidity, depth, salinity, temperature, water speed, phosphate levels and human activities. How smart is that?

Benjamin researching in the fieldBenjamin then entered his research project for his school science fair and was chosen as a finalist. Alright Benjamin! He moves on to compete at the school district level on February 24th at Irvine High School. Benjamin plans to pursue his science projects through all four years of high school, especially ones related to environmental issues. 

Benjamin Chang on the look out

Benjamin, you are an inspiration and we will be rooting for you.

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