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Little Skate Application Essay

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The “Little Skate,” Leucoraja erinacea, is a species of skate in the family Rajidae. They’re also somewhat populous in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, which surrounds the island I call home. The skate population has been increasing in numbers since 1970 and is now one of the predominant animals in bottom-fish communities. But marine education hasn’t expanded along with the skate population, and now, more often than not, they are mistaken for stingrays. I see this firsthand at the Save the Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium where I volunteer - kids and their parents alike confuse them with their larger cousins. Every weekend, I spend several hours observing these beautiful, underappreciated, often mislabeled creatures. And each time I see a child shrink away from a skate out of fear that it is a stinging ray, I'm given the opportunity to teach someone about the marine ecosystem in their own town, in hope that they’ll want to help protect it. My job as a volunteer aquarium docent is to instill a passion about preserving our oceans by teaching visitors about what lives inside of them. My volunteer work at Save the Bay has helped me discover my passion for environmental conservation in a way that’s also developed me as a leader and role model.…show more content…
One way I do this that comes easy to me, is through community service. Volunteering is my attempt to make a difference within my community. Being a leader and role model is especially important when it comes to treating the world around us as the important and beautiful place that it is. That is exactly why I spend my Saturdays teaching five-year-olds about skates and hermit crabs. In hope that they will take what they learn and become environmentally conscience. They’ll think about the spider crabs and seahorses before they litter, or the sea robins before they pollute. This is my own simple way of being an environmental
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