Maris Ferro - South Carolina Aquarium

At just 11 years old, Maris Ferro is already setting an example for conservation. Every time she visits her local beach, Isle of Palms County Park, she brings a bag to collect trash. Cigarette butts are among her most collected items. To date, she has removed more than 700 of them from the beach.

After gathering the cigarette butts, Maris brings them to Ollie’s Trading Post at the Aquarium for proper disposal. What does she plan to do with the points she has earned at the Trading Post for her hard work?

“I’m saving up for a shark tooth!” she says.

Maris does more than just pick up trash along the shore, though. She takes every opportunity to learn about animals from the biology professionals at the Aquarium and beyond, and she shares her knowledge with others she sees at the beach. “She’s an environmentalist to the core,” says Maris’s mother, Tracy. “She’ll tell anyone she encounters why it’s important to remove trash from the beach. She’ll even encourage fishermen to release their fish back into the wild.”

Maris’s educational message is simple but effective: “Don’t litter, and pick up trash so you can save the lives of sea turtles and other animals.” She proves that anyone, regardless of age, can make a difference.

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Lynne and Dennis Gettelfinger

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Marzio Gillis

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Beth Demas

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Maris Ferro

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Hilton Smith III

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Sue Elliot

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Jennifer and Shane Woolf

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Briged and Callan Potter

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Kate Byrd

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Clif Green

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Carmelina Livingston

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Barb Bergwerf

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Bob Harris, Jr.

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Carl Ward

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Laura Duncan

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Del Schutte

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Josie McLean

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Peter Stonefield

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Scott and Jordana Snider

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Bruce Hecker

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Michele Jacques

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Over 15 years we’ve heard stories about the lives the Aquarium has influenced and now we are asking for your help to capture these amazing stories and share them with the world.

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