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Roxy Saves the Bay by Katelyn Svitak

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Once upon a time, there was a rockfish that lived in the Chesapeake Bay. It was the year 1505. The rockfish was named Roxy. Roxy was very happy because the bay was very clean. One day Roxy was swimming happily when he found a cave he had never seen before. He was very curious and decided to check it out. Inside, he noticed a blue light. As he swam in, he became very sleepy. He fell asleep right there in the cave.

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Rockfish. Photo: DNR.

Finally, Roxy woke up. He didn’t know what time it was. He swam out of the cave. He looked at a fishing dock that had not been there before. A sign on the dock read, “HELP SAVE THE BAY!” Roxy wondered why he would have to do that because the bay was so clean. Then he ran into a piece of trash. He was confused and wondered what type of animal would throw trash into the bay. Roxy did not know where he was. He wanted to go back home to his own clean waters.

Roxy hated the dirty bay; he could hardly see anything. One day, he decided to ask someone where he was. He thought that the answer was dump yard or something like that. However, Roxy became even more confused when the fish he asked said that they were in the Chesapeake Bay. “What day is it?” asked Roxy when he realized how dark it was outside. “Don’t you know anything?” asked the other fish. “It’s March 26th.” The fish was about to swim away when Roxy asked, “Of what year?” The other fish was tired of answering questions but answered, “2016, of course.”

Roxy was so shocked that he swam away as quickly as he could in the dirty bay. He was 511 years into the future! Soon, he became curious about how the bay had become so dirty. He swam back into the cave and saw the same blue light. Like before, he fell into a deep sleep.

When Roxy woke up, he swam straight out of the cave. The fishing dock was gone. Roxy thought that he was back home. However, when he looked up, he saw lots of people. Roxy thought that he was in the 1600s-1700s because that was the time of the first big establishment, in Jamestown. The bay was still pretty clean; but, it was still not as clean as his home. People were cutting down trees and ruining animals’ habitats!

Now that Roxy knew when the pollution had started, he wanted to see when it had become a problem. He went back into the cave and fell asleep. When he woke up, the bay was even dirtier then it was in 2016! Then he saw a person throw a soda can in the bay. It hit Roxy in the head and he got stuck in it. “Help!” cried Roxy, but no one was there. “People are so careless,” Roxy thought. Then when Roxy thought that there was no hope left, he felt someone pick up the can. It was a girl picking up trash! The girl let Roxy go. After that, Roxy knew how the bay got cleaner in 2016. Some people did care! Roxy realized that even one person can make a difference. Roxy decided he wanted to help save the bay, too.

Roxy learned that oysters are very good for the bay so he went looking for an oyster. It was hard because there were not many of them. Finally, Roxy found an oyster. However this oyster was dying. Roxy rushed over to help; but, he realized there was nothing he could do. He asked the oyster why he was dying. The oyster said that the farm that was upstream was polluting the bay. Roxy decided to help other oysters by visiting the farm.

Once at the farm, Roxy saw many animals. All the animals’ waste was going straight into the bay along with the fertilizer and other bad things! Roxy swam to the farmer and told him how bad the bay was. The farmer was willing to help. He built tree buffers around the farm.

The next day, Roxy could tell the bay was cleaner. Even though it wasn’t perfect, it was better. That’s when Roxy knew anyone could make a difference. Even you.

Sixth grader Katelyn Svitak, Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County, loves animals and wants to help the bay.