Meet Sharks4Kids Junior Ambassador Charlotte ( US)
When she was 7, Charlotte watched a movie about sharks at the Astoria Maritime museum in Oregon. What was quite terrifying prior to the movie was not at it’s conclusion and it started an interest in sharks that has now lasted 2.5 years. The movie was about some of the different species of sharks and at the end of the movie there was a paragraph that scrolled through that spoke about not being afraid of sharks and about how they needed to be protected. After that, Charlotte went from not liking sharks to liking them.
When she entered grade 2, she started a lunch time club of classmates that they named the “Ocean Life” club. They made posters about sharks and joined them together. It is about 23’ long!
Later that year, because of her unwavering interest in sharks, she took a shark snorkeling trip accompanied by her Mom, Dad and sister, 3 miles off the north shore of Oahu and saw 4 male Galapagos sharks. She interviewed Captain Rich about the sharks, and presented him with posters her classmates had made as well as some of her allowance money to pass along to the shark program he sends data to.
Later, she had the opportunity to interview the aquarium staff at the JW Marriott about their shark tank and then feed the baby sandbar and hammerhead sharks. This trip was recorded by her Dad Jordie, and then edited and presented to her class.
Throughout grade 3 Charlotte has been collecting money to sponsor a shark through the Bimini Shark Lab. She has made bracelets, talked to the adults in her life, including Mom’s patients, sold veggies from the garden and made muffins. She also convinced her Dad to donate all the tips he got at the family golf course. She managed to raise $350USD which is a lot considering the Canadian exchange rate these days.
Charlotte’s shark was tagged with an acoustic transmitter and her class is hoping that information will eventually be collected so they can learn about sharks too. She named her shark, Chilliwack, after her hometown. Now lots of people know about it, and her music teacher said she felt like “Chilliwack” the female juvenile tiger shark kind of belongs to the City of Chilliwack now!
1)What is your favorite shark and why?
Thresher shark because I like the long tail and how it can whip it to stun it’s prey.
2) What is one shark you would like to see in the wild?
A thresher shark and a sand tiger shark, and especially Chilliwack.
3)Why do you want to help save the sharks?
They need our help in the ocean because without sharks the whole food chain will out of balance and other fish and animals will also become effected. I’m also worried about the overgrowth of algae in the ocean. Without sharks to eat the big fish, who feed on the small fish who feed on the algae it will be a mess.
4)Why did you want to have a shark float in the parade?
I thought that people could learn from it and talk about sharks and the “word” would get out there and maybe they’d help save sharks too.
5) Would you like a career working with ocean animals?
Yes, maybe. But first I want to go to Bimini and see the shark lab. I may want to be a lawyer to change the laws to save sharks that way.
6)Why do you think shark education is important for shark conservation?
Because if you don’t know about what they are, and where they are, it’s hard to help them properly. It’s also good so you know the right information so you don’t get confused by people who don’t understand shark behavior. You don’t want to lose hope when people say bad things.
7) Do you think kids can make a difference?
Yes, I think kids can make a big difference, because some kids care a lot more about sharks than adults would, but but because they care, then adults around them start caring too.