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Wild - - INSIDE - You can find more from Stella at her web­site: http://earl­grey5.wixsite.com/stellab.

W: How did you first find out about the raw sewage flow­ing into the LaHave river?

SB: My mom told me. We needed to re­place our sep­tic sys­tem that was old and she said that she thought it was wrong that peo­ple still had straight pipes. I asked, “What are straight pipes?” and I was so shocked and up­set when she ex­plained what they were. They’re pipes that take all the waste­water in your house — from sewage to wa­ter from your laun­dry — and put that dirty wa­ter right into the river through a pipe. My river has over 600 of these il­le­gal straight pipes.

W: Does it af­fect the habi­tat at all or the wildlife that live there?

SB: Yes. The LaHave River was very full of salmon. The salmon num­bers have dropped a lot. I know that peo­ple still fish in our river, but there is no way I would eat any­thing out of the LaHave River.

W: I know you reached out to the pub­lic and to gov­ern­ment. What made you take action?

SB: Af­ter my first test­ing re­sults, I felt I had to warn peo­ple. I saw a lot of peo­ple swim­ming in the LaHave and I was scared some­one would get sick.

W: How much time did it take for you to get the word out and for you to see some action?

SB: It all hap­pened re­ally fast ac­tu­ally. I begged my mom to make a com­mu­nity Face­book page. She ini­tially said no, but then she said ok, as long as she could con­trol it and I am not al­lowed to post any­thing on it with­out her. I thought I may get 100 peo­ple on my Face­book page, but it re­ally ex­ploded and I have over 3,200 fol­low­ers and some of my posts have reached over 50,000 peo­ple.

Af­ter that, I spoke at schools and at com­mu­nity events, and I got in the news­pa­per and on TV.

W: What have you learned about your­self?

SB: I can make a dif­fer­ence. I have learned that I have a voice and can make the world a bet­ter place. I re­ally en­joy sci­ence, en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies and even pol­i­tics. I am not sure what I will be when I grow up, but I think this will lead me to where I am sup­posed to be. I know that I have a lot of work to do. I am just get­ting started.

W: What’s next for you? Do you have an­other con­ser­va­tion is­sue you want to work on?

SB: I re­ally want the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to en­force all il­le­gal straight pipes in our province. This is a prob­lem be­yond my river. It just seems so silly that noth­ing is be­ing done to fix this prob­lem.

I am also look­ing at train­ing other kids around Nova Sco­tia and giv­ing them test­ing kits for their own rivers. This is just in the be­gin­ning stages, but I think it would be awe­some to have an army of us kids test­ing the wa­ters and shar­ing re­sults on so­cial me­dia for ev­ery­one to see. Kids are pow­er­ful!

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