Teen wants to make a difference by pushing bills for state oyster

The Seattle TimesJanuary 24, 2014 

Claire Thompson, 14, addresses the Senate Governmental Operations Committee about designating a state oyster on Jan. 24, 2014.

AARON BARNA — Washington State Legislature

Claire Thompson wants young people to know they can participate in government.

The 14-year-old is behind Senate Bill 6145 and House Bill 2387, companion measures that would designate Ostrea lurida as the official state oyster.

She’s pushing the bills for an eighth-grade project at Nova School, an Olympia-based independent middle school for highly capable students, but said she’s aiming for more than a grade.

Thompson, who wants to be a marine biologist, grew up near Olympia’s Boston Harbor. Water, she said, is a part of her life and when she learned about ocean acidification through The Seattle Times “Sea Change” project, she wanted to do something.

“I don’t really know a lot of ways to fix it,” she said. “Raising awareness is something I can do, and I think it’s really powerful that someone my age, someone like me, could change the way my state works.”

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