CFCC student puts a little POP into her student life
There is more to Cape Fear Community College than going to class. CFCC is brimming with student activities and clubs. There are over 50 clubs and organizations that offer students an opportunity to get involved on campus and in the community.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
One of the newest clubs at CFCC is the Plastic Ocean Project (POP). Jessica Hufham, a graduate of the Marine Technology program and a current university transfer student, founded the CFCC POP chapter in 2021. While working at a local coffee shop, Hufham discovered one of her shift leaders was a member of the original POP club at UNCW, affectionately called Big POP. Hufham’s passion for marine life, biology, and ocean conservation drew her to the club and its mission.
“to educate through field research, implement progressive outreach initiatives, and incubate solutions to address the global plastic pollution problem, working with and for the next generation to create a more sustainable future.”
Plastic Ocean Project was founded by a UNCW graduate student, Bonnie Monteleone, while writing her master’s thesis. Monteleone’s focus was on plastic pollution: Bottles, grocery store bags, etc. She collected plastic waste from local waters to study how, or if, they biodegrade. Monteleone also studied if marine life was consuming the plastics, which may ultimately arrive on our dinner plates through the food chain.
CFCC POP does not let any barnacles grow under their feet. So, students who are ready to get involved should be prepared to dive into numerous projects.
Recent projects include picking up trash along Highway 421, MLK Parkway, and River Road. These combined projects have recovered over 1,200 pounds of trash along our community’s roadsides. Members also organize fundraisers with local businesses in the downtown Wilmington area. CFCC POP encourages its members to volunteer with other environmentally conscientious groups such as CFCC’s Student Veterans Organization or the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.
EDUCATION. ACTION. COLLABOROCEAN
The CFCC chapter is planning a collaboration with Keep New Hanover Beautiful to set up a sea bin at the Port City Marina. Hufham describes a sea bin as “basically a submerged trash can that collects oils and gases which leak into the water at the Marina. It also gathers debris that has drifted into the Cape Fear River.” The collected samples are then studied to determine the effects of the pollution on marine wildlife and water quality.
An additional partnership with CFCC’s Chemical Technology and Marine Technology programs, along with CFCC’s biology department, will allow CFCC POP members to analyze and study the sea bin samples in a laboratory setting.
CFCC Plastic Ocean Project club welcomes all new members. If you are interested in learning more about protecting our oceans, rivers, and shorelines, then plan to attend the next club meeting of the Plastic Ocean Project club.