9-year-old Houstonian's birthday wish: save the ocean

9-year-old Houstonian, Asher, decided against a traditional birthday party so that he could save the ocean instead.

Asher is a bright young ocean conservationist, and insisted on cleaning up the ocean for his birthday to protect the creatures he loves. He and his friends headed to Galveston Bay with paper bags in hand, where they spent the day picking up trash and recycling what was possible.

Asher's drive to protect the environment is crucial during a time when the Houston-Galveston area produces 4.5 million pounds of solid trash every year. On average, a Houstonian will produce eight pounds of trash daily. When not disposed of properly, it ends up in the Galveston Bay.

After spending the day picking up trash, Asher's family arranged for a representative of the Galveston Bay Foundation's Galveston Bay Report Card, T'Noya Thomspon, to educate Asher and his friends on conservation and environmental protection.

The Galveston Bay Report Card is an analysis of the bay meant to inspire locals like Asher to take action to protect our waterways. Since its beginning in 2015, the Galveston Bay has received an adequate grade of C, something they hope to change.

Asher's friends gave him the best gift of all and chipped in to adopt a dolphin on his behalf through Galveston Bay Foundation's dolphin adoption program, raising almost $200 in support.