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The Shark Finatics are Back

sharkfinatics_shirawani

2010 Junior Ocean Heroes the Shark Finatics are building a shark out of recycled materials. ©ArtsWestchester

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.

Take care,
Robin 

-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


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Fact of the Day: Sandtiger Shark

Sandtiger Shark (credit: Jeff Kubina)

You asked for it so here it is: a FOTD on the sandtiger shark!

Sandtiger sharks go by many names including the ragged-tooth shark and the gray nurse shark. When unprovoked, these sharks are fairly docile, despite their frightening appearance. 

Female sandtiger sharks give birth to two live pups, one from each of their two uteri. Because of the relatively small litter size, sandtiger shark populations have a particularly slow growth rate and it takes them a long time to recover from population decreases.    


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