The scientific integrity of your R&D is really impressive and stands out to me. Clearly you are dedicated to this issue as you spent 3 years researching toxins and their affect on aquatic ecosystems. You articulated well the shortcomings of the current systems to keep pollutants from entering waterways, which positions your unique approach nicely and will serve you well at pitches. I would suggest to explain more in-depth how your bioretention system works, and where strategic places to install them would be (I assume it would be where pipes flow into waterways?). I believe that establishing some corporate partnerships with local or national organizations would really help you publicize your work and gain extra funding. This idea has great potential as a solution not only in the US but globally, since roadways don't differ that much from country to country. As an avid environmentalist and ocean lover myself, I am really worried about the health of our waterways but knowing that people like you are working to fix these problems gives me hope. Keep up the great work!
Your reach here both locally and globally is really 'wow'! Empowering other youth to start their own chapters and making the teachings accessible is a huge win. Your dedication to this issue shines through with all of the various ways you are reaching students - school gardens, education, blog, and the newsletter. The partnerships you have cultivated also show that you are thinking long-term. I think future pitches would be even more impactful if you collected some testimonials or exit surveys from the students your teams worked with, to see how their perception of environmental sustainability changed and the impact that caring for the gardens has had on them. Also, I'd be interested to know what kinds of plants are grown in the gardens - is there a regional sensitivity to growing local plants to help preserve biodiversity, for example? I applaud you for your work and wish your team all the best.
I can sense your passion and dedication to this issue! It's a tricky time to be starting an initiative now that we are all staying at home, but on the other hand as you've proven it's an opportunity to focus on creating something positive. I think you've found a unique angle to approach environmental science and STEM education through - making it more accessible for differently abled students who are often sent the message that these paths are not for them. I really love the idea of blog posts spotlighting scientists with disabilities, this is so important for students to see themselves in these futures. I would echo my colleague Sarah's suggestion that you connect with differently-abled students and involve them in the project, as I'm sure they'd offer valuable perspectives&feedback on the activities, and would love to be included. As the covid restrictions lift and/or you meet virtually with communities and orgs that could help you advertise this initiative, I think a lot of people will be drawn to your work. Wish you all the best!