UNIVERSITY PRESS

FAU’s newest environmental student organization: Tritons of the Sea

The organization’s mission is to protect marine life and keep South Florida’s beaches clean.

Members+of+FAU%27s+Tritons+of+the+Sea%2C+a+new+environmental+club%2C+clean+up+the+beach.+Photo+courtesy+of+Instagram
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FAU’s newest environmental student organization: Tritons of the Sea

Members of FAU's Tritons of the Sea, a new environmental club, clean up the beach. Photo courtesy of Instagram

Members of FAU's Tritons of the Sea, a new environmental club, clean up the beach. Photo courtesy of Instagram

Members of FAU's Tritons of the Sea, a new environmental club, clean up the beach. Photo courtesy of Instagram

Members of FAU's Tritons of the Sea, a new environmental club, clean up the beach. Photo courtesy of Instagram

Justin Baronoff, Contributing Writer

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While many Boca Raton residents go to Palmetto Park Beach to relax and soak up the sun, they could also be cleaning the garbage scattered on the sand.

Enter juniors Sereen Elmomani and Veselmoy Moberg, who are the president and vice president of FAU’s newest environmental organization, Tritons of the Sea.

Tritons of the Sea’s mission is to protect marine life and keep beaches clean of plastic and other trash. They’ve already hosted one beach cleanup, and they plan to schedule more. According to Elmomani, the organization’s name is based off of the Greek messenger of the sea, Triton, who is the son of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon.

“We want [beach cleanups] to become a monthly thing and not just do community cleanups, but have recycling awareness meetings to inform people about easy ways to become more sustainable,” Moberg said. “People need to know their impact on the environment so that they get involved in keeping our beaches and any other environment clean.”

There are other conservationist nonprofit organizations on campus, like Mission Green and Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, & Sustainability (SEEDS) — except Mission Green is inactive and SEEDS helps land animals, too. Tritons of the Sea is the only organization that focuses solely on the ocean.

After not knowing each other prior, Elmomani and Moberg originally wanted to start their own organizations. However, when they both met with College of Business adviser Josh Shampaner with the same ocean-cleaning ideas in August 2018, he decided to put them together.

With the mentorship from Shampaner and the equipment provided by the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Tritons of the Sea held its first beach clean-up on March 16. From 9 a.m. to noon, over 40 attendees, ranging from Boca Raton Community High School students who needed community service hours to residents who simply wanted to clean their beach, volunteered.

Most of the garbage that was found included everyday items, such as plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, and beer bottle caps. Despite there being only one 12-gallon garbage bag that could be fully recycled, the clean-up was still successful, according to Elmomani.

“We had people from different age groups and different backgrounds, and we all did something that enables a better environment,” Elomani said. “We’re excited to take all the steps needed to make this earth a better place, so any act is a huge act.”

To have a larger impact in the area and preserve life for the future, senior Parth Patel decided to join the organization as their treasurer, as he feels “kids deserve to have the planet left in great condition for them for generations to come.”

“I was looking to join a club that was environmentally conscious and I was already friends with Sereen,” Patel said. “I just want to show that anyone can make a change in the environment if they believe.”

While Tritons of the Sea is still a new organization on campus, Elmomani said she will continue to spread the word about Tritons of the Sea as paperless as possible and hopes to be able to expand the organization outside of FAU in the near future.

“Eventually we are going to be tabling on the breezeway to educate students and let them know about our different social media accounts,” Elmomani said. “We are also beginning to take member applications from students and are thinking of expanding to include an afterschool program to show kids that beach clean-ups can be fun and change the world at the same time.”

The next beach clean-up for Tritons of the Sea will be on Saturday, May 4 at 9 a.m. on Palmetto Park Beach. If you want more information on Tritons of the Sea, you can view their Owl Central account, Facebook, and Instagram.

Justin Baronoff is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].

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