Pippa Benton wants to keep the ocean healthy for future generations.
So when Ocean Spirit co-founder Glenn Edney proposed an idea to get a Seabin for the Tutukaka Marina, the 16-year-old Huanui College student put the idea into action.
Now Tutukaka could be the first place in the country to have a Seabin, with the device - which sucks in water and pumps it back out leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag, expected to arrive in June or July.
"I am a Scuba diver so I have a connection with the ocean and the health of the ocean. I've seen up close what it looks like to have a healthy ocean and what it looks like to have an unhealthy ocean and I want to keep the ocean [healthy] so future generations can see the things I see," said Miss Benton.
The project is a collaboration between Ocean Spirit, Tutukaka Marina Management and Trust Board, the Interact Club at Huanui College and Whangarei City Rotary Club.
Miss Benton is part of the Interact Club, a group sponsored by the Whangarei City Rotary Club where students work on local and humanitarian projects.
Miss Benton proposed the idea of helping to make the Seabin a reality about a year ago after meeting Mr Edney while she was heading out to the Poor Knights for a dive. Mr Edney was the skipper of the boat.
"Ocean Spirit are working to rid the ocean of plastic. He basically mentioned what he was doing and I took that to my rotary club and said maybe we can help out.
"I contacted Glenn and he said he had a few ideas and he mentioned the Seabin. I thought that sounded interesting."
The Seabin costs about $6000.
So the Interact Club organised the Huanui College Carnival, which was held in Term 3 last year, as a fundraiser and raised $1100. Whangarei City Rotary Club also received $4000 in funding to go towards the project and the Tutukaka Marina Management were covering the rest of the costs.
"It's really exciting to say the least. The most important part is that we will be able to see what is being put in the ocean and that way we can make a difference. We can put a stop to it entering the water in the first place," Miss Benton said.
Miss Benton said the contents of the bin will be analysed and Ngunguru School will also get involved.