Kids caring about sharks, part two: Ocean Hero Robin Culler teaches shark conservation

Filed Under (Activism, Sharks, Special Events, Summer Sharktakular 2010, conservation) by Alexa & Cindy on 25-07-2010

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 ”SHARKS…what? No way! I HATE sharks and I don’t want to know anything more about them!”

That is just the response I got from Pat, over three years ago. Today, Pat is one of my most avid Shark Finatics.

“We fear what we don’t know.” It so holds true with the world of sharks.

At one time or another, we fall prey to media sensationalism. We have become accustomed to the reports of injuries or death related to auto accidents, disease, and so forth. But, when a shark is implicated, you can almost hear the gasps. Thank you, “JAWS,” your impact will never be forgotten!

Do we continue to fall into our comfort zone of being deathly afraid of these amazing creatures or do we take the time to get the facts?

Shark Finatics! students show their stuff.

The Shark Finatics decided it would be way more beneficial to get the facts. We have spent a few years researching and learning as much as we can about the world of sharks. They have been here for over four hundred million years. How can we even begin to process that information? Through periods of extinction, when other species died out, the mighty shark remained.

Having to evolve very little, this incredible predator has managed to survive. But, is his time on this planet starting to run out?

Sharks play an essential role in our marine ecosystem. They are here for a reason and we need to ensure their continued existence.

The Shark Finatics believe it begins with education.

Our motto is “Learning, Teaching, Saving.” We are committed to learning all we can about sharks and then take every opportunity to teach others.

We have found that most people we talk to know nothing about shark finning. If enough people learn about this horrific practice and get angry, then maybe they will begin to take action. It is easy to be sympathetic towards the abused puppy or kitten. They’re warm and fuzzy. Sharks, meanwhile, are busy disputing their undeserved reputation as beach-clearing man-eathers. It is up to each of us to take the time to discover how truly magnificent sharks are.

Kids, look at what Alexa, as well as the Shark Finatics, are doing. They recognize the importance of nature’s gifts and are investing much time and energy into making a difference.

You can do the same. Form groups or clubs and gather information. There is so much available at your fingertips. Get involved with a conservation organization. They all love when children show their concern. Teach your classmates and friends…get them excited.

After all, you will be growing up in this world and right now, this world needs a lot of help.

It is such a great feeling to know that you are doing something to ensure a healthy planet.

Sharks need you and they need you now. And who knows, maybe you can be as lucky as the Shark Finatics and become an Ocean Hero. I believe Alexa is well on her way to becoming one!

~Robin Culler

Robin Culler with her Shark Finatics!

 Oceana’s 2010 Junior Ocean Hero award winner Robin Culler needs almost nothing written about her here, as we’re sure that 95% of you know who she is. If not, now you do.

 She teaches at Green Chimneys, a New York school that utilizes animal-assisted therapy to support emotionally impaired children, K-12, in their learning careers. It all started for Robin when she picked up a little book on sharks in the classroom one day because she didn’t have a lesson prepared. The rest is now a piece of Sharktakular history…lucky sharks! And lucky us, for having Robin and the Finatics as O4E friends.

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Wear Blue, Encourage the New

Filed Under (Special People, World Ocean Day) by Alexa & Cindy on 08-06-2009

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Happy World Oceans Day!

Are you wearing blue today? We are! We’ve been saving something to share with everyone today, on World Oceans Day, that we think embodies the spirit of a true ocean lover.

Recently, Alexa received a package in the mail which contained something magnificent and vivid yet very fragile (just like the oceans). Also in this package, which came from our dear Christie, of the Nerdy persuasion, was a letter. sn300

This letter could also be exhibit A in a Child Encouragement 101 class if one existed. Thank you, Christie, for caring about oceans, about others who do, too, and for taking the time to encourage a young person.

Everyone – O4E hopes you take the time to share your passion for the ocean with a young person today. Trust us, you could make a huge impact – on the child, and hopefully ultimately the future of the Big Blue.

    Dear Alexa,

    I hope you like this gift I made for you. I thought that with your love of the sea, you might want a piece of it that you can take with you. I walked up and down the beaches of Florida to find these treasures!

    The two teeth are fossils that are over 10 million years old! Way back then, bony fish like the ones that we have today hadn’t evolved yet. All of the fish were sharks!

    And, as I’m sure you can imagine, all those sharks had a lot of teeth. When they fell out, they sank, and the minerals from the sand they landed in slowly replaced the cartilage, turning the teeth into rocks.

    In the center of the necklace is the skeleton of a sand dollar. They’re flat creatures related to sea stars and sea urchins which like to burrow in the sane off our beaches. It’s very fragile, so be careful with it!

    When I saw it, I was reminded of an old story. Once upon a time, there was a big hurricane that hit Florida. The next day, thousands of sand dollars were all over the beach. They weren’t dead yet, but they would be soon.

    People stopped and stared, but one little girl ran onto the beach and started throwing them one by one back into the water. She was doing this for a while when someone finally asked her what she was doing.

    “They can’t live on the beach,” she said. Didn’t she realize, they asked, that she could never save all of them? That she would save so few, it would almost make no difference?

    “It made a difference to that one,” she replied, throwing another into the sea.

    You, my dear, have her spirit. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you – you are going to make a big difference in this world.


    Nerdy Christie


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