Silent Spring essay contest for Maine 7th graders | Schools

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Silent Spring essay contest for Maine 7th graders

WELLS, Maine, September 27, 2012 — To mark the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s revolutionary work “Silent Spring,” the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge invite seventh-grade students in Maine to enter an environmental essay contest with prizes including an iPad, a camera, and binoculars. Essays should be emailed to by December 1, 2012. Complete details are posted at

Students may respond to one of these three quotes found in “Silent Spring” by explaining what the quote means to them personally: “In nature, nothing exists alone,” “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts,” or “By acquiescing in an act that can cause such suffering to a living creature, who among us is not diminished as a human being?”

Rachel Carson was a scientist and writer whose books “Under the Sea-wind,” “The Sea Around Us,” and “The Edge of the Sea” became very popular in the 1950s. Her most important work, “Silent Spring,” was published in 1962. In it, she warned that improper use of chemical pesticides could have severe impacts on public and environmental health. After her death in 1964, the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge was renamed in her honor.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge protects valuable salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds. Located along 50 miles of coastline in York and Cumberland counties, the refuge consists of eleven divisions between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth. Portions of the refuge in the Town of Wells are co-managed by the Wells Reserve.

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is a 2,250-acre National Estuarine Research Reserve with its headquarters listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wells Reserve’s goal is to protect and restore coastal ecosystems around the Gulf of Maine. Staff and volunteers expand knowledge about coasts and estuaries, engage people in environmental learning, and involve communities in conserving natural resources.


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