Lea Rodger, 11, a sixth-grader at Peconic Community School in Aquebogue, organized a climate action rally on Main Street Saturday. Photo: Julia-Anna Searson

“There is no Planet B,” “It is easy to be green,” “The climate is changing, why haven’t we?” Nearly four dozen people carrying signs with those and similar messages stood in blustery weather outside the Long Island Aquarium Saturday for a climate action rally organized by 11-year-old Lea Rodger of Greenport.

Lea, a sixth-grader at Peconic Community School in Aquebogue, was inspired to organize a climate action rally after hearing environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations.

“She was motivational in all of her speeches,” Lea said. “How much information she showed really made me realize how much we need to do something.”

People stood outside of the aquarium for over an hour in gusty winds, some signs nearly being blown away.

The climate action rally on Main Street in Riverhead Jan. 11, organized by 11-year-old Lea Rodger of Greenport. Photo: Julia-Anna Searson

Rodger encouraged other kids across the U.S. and the world to act and do what they can to help.

“They should act now before there is no time,” Lea said. “It is important and we are the ones who are gonna live in this world so we gotta fight for it, if other people aren’t going to.”

Despite not being of voting age, the sixth grader had a law she wanted enacted in the U.S. to aid in the environmental conservation cause.

“Stop emissions by 50% in three years,” she said. “I feel like it may be possible.”

The crowd chanted “What do we want? Action! When do we want it? Now!”

The group of rally participants outside Long Island Aquarium. Photo by Julia-Anna Searson

The rally drew attention from the public, a few pedestrians stopped and joined in for a bit and multiple cars slowed down to see what was happening. Many drivers honked their horns and gave the group a thumbs-up or shouted “Good job!” at the group.

Lea said she is hoping to organize another rally, given how successful this one was.

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Julia-Anna Searson
Julia-Anna is a Riverhead native and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University, with a degree in Biology and minor in Anthropology. She currently lives in Cutchogue.