Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kids in Canada Want to Protect Sharks, Too

Port Carling, Canada's 7-year old Kassidy with Rob Stewart, director and producer of Sharkwater.
When 7-year-old Kassidy heard that between 26 and 73 million sharks a year were being killed just for their fins, she jumped into action. For this 1st grade student from Port Carling, Canada asking her family and friends to sign the petition to save sharks simply wasn’t enough. In three short days she gave a presentation in every classroom at Algonquin Ridge Elementary in Barrie, collecting over 600 signatures to support shark fin ban legislation in Toronto.

Rob Stewart, the award-winning filmmaker behind Sharkwater was blown away when he received her petitions. “Kassidy has done more to save sharks than most adults have. Kids have the power to change the future of our planet; we’ve seen it happen in Saipan, Guam and now it’s happening here in Ontario. We can all learn something important from her.”

To thank her personally, Stewart invited Kassidy to the recent “Making Waves for Wildlife” fundraising event for the Muskoka Wildlife Centre where Stewart gave a keynote address about species and ecosystem conservation.

United Conservationists' Julie Anderson, Rob Stewart and Zennifer Zabawa with Kassidy.

“I feel that this experience has profoundly affected Kassidy.” Said Kassidy’s mom, Suzanne, “I was so surprised to see her tongue tied - that is a very rare occasion.” Kassidy, who aspires to become a veterinarian, learned that even though she is young, she can make a difference.

And, Kassidy’s efforts continue to grow; the Muskoka Wildlife Centre has placed her petition at their facility and is collecting even more signatures. Stewart continues his mission to save sharks worldwide, hosting a fundraising event in his hometown of Toronto to help support the Fin Free Toronto campaign launched by his non-profit organization, United Conservationists on September 14th.

Read Rob Stewart's guest blog, Kids Can Protect the Ocean, Too to see how kids are leading the charge to protect the world's sharks.

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