Rockefeller Creates SD, Japan School Partnership

Students will discuss ocean conservation

A member of one of America’s most well-known families visited a local elementary school Tuesday morning.

David Rockefeller, Jr. is chairman of Sailors for the Sea, an organization that encourages sailors and boaters to keep the ocean clean.

“Boaters should protect the oceans because they depend on the oceans to sail upon,” Rockefeller said.

During a recent trip to Yokohama, Japan, Rockefeller visited Shinohara Elementary School. He was inspired by students who took field trips to the beach and studied water quality. The Japanese students also made artwork with the garbage they found in the ocean.

“They showed us this very impressive demonstration that out of ugly things you can make beautiful things, and in the process, clean up the beaches,” Rockefeller said.

Because Yokohama is one of San Diego’s sister cities, Rockefeller set out to connect the school he visited with a local elementary school.

Now, students at Morning Creek Elementary School in Poway will become pen pals with kids at Shinohara, an entire ocean away.

“This is just another way for them to branch out and meet another culture, to learn about what they’re doing and show what we’re doing here,” Morning Creek principal Amy Smith-Richardson said.

On Tuesday, Rockefeller visited Mrs. Brown’s fifth grade class. He was joined by Minako Iue, who runs Sailors for the Sea-Japan.

After the tsunami struck Japan in 2011, water quality has been a big concern. Also, Iue said people in Japan aren’t aware of mercury dangers like Americans are.

“In Japan, we started this project called the Blue Seafood List, which is to educate everyone in the country what’s the safe fish we can consume,” Iue said.

Sailors for the Sea was founded 10 years ago.

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