Editor’s note: With two days until the launch of the 2012 Ocean Heroes Awards, we have a guest post today from Robin Culler – one of the founders of the Shark Finatics (Junior Award winners, 2010) from the Green Chimneys School in Brewster, NY.
Hello Oceana, it’s been two years since the Shark Finatics were honored to be named Junior Ocean Heroes and now we’re busier than ever. In the past few months, the Finatics have been involved in a few projects:
- When we heard that two sisters had opened a restaurant in Brooklyn and were serving shark burgers, the kids got fired up. They all wrote letters and drew pictures, pleading them to stop and keep the sharks in the oceans. One boy, totally on his own, got his mom to take him to the restaurant so that he could have a heart-to-heart conversation with one of the sisters! I was thrilled!
- I took the kids to the aquarium the other month to see the Sand Tigers there. It was really fun as some kids had never even been to an aquarium before. They loved it! One of the reasons we went was that we were invited to submit a project for an art exhibit in White Plains, NY. It is on the fish around Westchester, in the Hudson and the Long Island Sound. Since the Sand Tiger is in the Sound, we created a wonderful portfolio on all aspects of this shark (her name is Shirowani), including text and pictures. We also created a wonderful shark from soda bottles, foil, cardboard, and lots of duct tape and it will all be on display to the public all summer long.
- I just recently held two workshops at a large conference for educators on the Finatics program. It was so cool having everyone hanging on every word, hearing about how we got started and how we grew. It really is a wonderful story.
As you can tell, we are never without projects to work on! We next have to concentrate, big time, on the shark fin bill in NY. We will be writing letters, getting a petition together, making phone calls, and maybe a trip to legislator offices.
So, long story short, we are thrilled to be staying busy and look forward to seeing who will be the next Ocean Heroes in 2012.
-You can support Oceana’s and the Finatics’ effort to ban the trade of shark fins in New York state by signing our petition: http://act.oceana.org/letter/l-ny-shark/
-To learn more about the Green Chimney’s School, please go to http://www.greenchimneys.org/
-Don’t forget to come back to Oceana's website on June 6 to nominate a 2012 Ocean Hero
As you know, we are now accepting nominations for our third annual Ocean Heroes Contest. Throughout the nomination period, which ends April 27th, I’ll be featuring a few of the past winners and finalists to get you inspired. First up, the 2010 Junior Ocean Heroes: the Shark Finatics.
To jog your memory, the Shark Finatics are a group of students at Green Chimneys School in Brewster, New York who have raised more than $2,000 for shark research and conservation organizations around the world - and an immeasurable amount of awareness about shark finning.
The Finatics’ teacher Robin Culler recently wrote to us with an enthusiastic update about her students. They were recently featured in the Southeast Brewster Patch, and Culler says the “the kids were awesome and you couldn't get a word in edgewise! They were so thrilled to teach yet one more person about sharks.”
It’s that time again: we are looking for ocean heroes, and we need your help. Nominations for our third annual Ocean Heroes Contest begin today, so think of the person you know doing the most for the oceans -- and maybe it’s yourself! -- and send us the deets.
Here’s how: To nominate someone, just visit www.oceana.org/heroes and complete the form. Past nominees have included educators, scientists, fundraisers, activists, and that’s just a start. And like last year, we have two categories: Adult and Junior (18 years old or younger).
This year’s Ocean Heroes will receive, in addition to a heap of praise and good ocean karma, a $500 gift card from Nautica and a pair of Revo Sunglasses. All finalists will receive a $100 Nautica gift card.
We can’t wait to see all the great nominations come rolling in!
Today I’m pleased to bring you a guest post from Robin Culler, teacher of the 2010 Junior Ocean Heroes, the Shark Finatics.
What a year this has been for the Shark Finatics! We are still basking in the glory of being named Junior Ocean Heroes and each week many more amazing things come our way.
This past Saturday, I was privileged to be invited to a dinner honoring Palau's President Johnson Toribiong. The prestigious Ocean Heritage Award was presented to the President by the Shark Research Institute in recognition of Palau's Shark Sanctuary.
A year ago, Palau, one of the world's smallest nations, created the first ever shark sanctuary. Commercial fishing of sharks is banned in Palau's territorial waters and its exclusive economic zone, covering 240,000 square miles. More than 130 species of sharks and stingrays, which are considered either endangered or vulnerable, find safe haven in this sanctuary.