Gazebo Gazette

Coast Episcopal School (CES) students went on the road last week when the Long Beach independent school’s third grade traveled to Foxtown, Mississippi to experience Red Bluff, and its fifth grade walked the Mississippi Gulf Coast beach south of Espy Avenue in search of nurdles, small plastic pellets.

Red Bluff, a canyon formed by erosion from the Pearl River, became an outdoor classroom for 10 CES third graders last Thursday, September 8, 2022.

Classroom Teacher Jillianne Larson planned the trip to reinforce the lessons of her students who have been studying how erosion creates and affects different landforms.

“I thought it would be great if our class could travel to a unique place and see a landscape that differs from our daily experience. Not many people know about Red Bluff, so I’m very grateful that our students got to see and learn about some of Mississippi’s natural and hidden beauty,” explained Larson.

In addition to Larson, the students were accompanied by Head of School Jake Winter and Science Teacher Summer Dorcik.

Additionally, Dorcik incorporated the outdoors as an educational setting when she led 14 fifth graders to the Long Beach waterfront to search for and gather nurdles, small plastic pellets that are used to make all plastic items. The small pellets look like food to animals, and they absorb toxic chemicals, which could have a negative impact on the environment.

Dorcik’s class has become a member of Nurdle Patrol,, a citizen science project led by the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas.

The project includes gathering information about where nurdles are located across North America, removing the nurdles from the environment, and creating awareness about the nurdle issue.  The CES fifth grade students will be scouring Mississippi Gulf Coast Beaches every month throughout the 2022-2023 school year.

“In addition to collecting data for the Nurdle Patrol, this project will teach our students that each of us can make an impact and serve our community,” explains Dorcik.

Coast Episcopal School has been dedicated to a life-long love of learning by developing the whole child – mind, body and spirit plus providing a joyful, unique, and nurturing Judeo-Christian community that inspires its students to imagine and create a better world.

Founded in 1950, CES is a member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).  For additional information:  Coast Episcopal School is located at 5065 Espy Avenue, Long Beach Mississippi and the phone number is (228)452-9442 or check the website, which is