With rain coming down, most teenagers might be concerned about spending all morning outside, but not 13-year-old Mia Elias and her friends at Trailside Discovery Camp — they had work to do.
“We’re picking up trash and making sure the birds and the fish don’t eat it,” Elias said.
Their work is part of a new statewide campaign called “Baby Salmon Live Here.” A group named “The Salmon Project” challenged the teens to clean up a small section of Campbell Creek where baby salmon spend a couple years before returning to the ocean.
“I didn’t think it was going to be to fun just picking up a ton of trash but it actually is a lot of fun, and you don’t realize how much trash is out here,” Elias said.
The campaign is about exploration, discovery, adventure, and sharing experiences.
People across the state are encouraged to post pictures of their efforts on Instagram with #babysalmonlivehere.
“The idea is that when people start tagging these photos, they’ll show up on a heat map on our website and get an opportunity to really see a much larger picture of where salmon live across the state,” said Salmon Project Outreach and Engagement Coordinator Miriam Roberts.
The cleanup project is a collaborative effort between Anchorage Waterways Council and Alaska Center for the Environment. Both have teamed up with The Salmon Project to make this part of Campbell Creek a better place for salmon to grow up, which means more fish for people to catch in years to come.
Elias and her friends are having a good time learning how to take care of their community and the baby salmon that live there.
“It just makes me feel good that I’m helping everything and everybody,” she said.
Everyone is invited to make their own baby salmon discovery this summer. Instagram posts with #babysalmonlivehere will be eligible for prizes.
The campaign runs through mid-August.