Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 year old New Yorker collects signatures in support of Palau marine reserve

Nick Silverstein and Palau President Tommy Remegesau Jr.
Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. has big plans. Already well known around the world as the driving force behind the Micronesia Challenge, an initiative to effectively conserve 30% of near shore resources in a vast area of ocean spanning three countries and two US territories, the President is pushing for a measure that would close the waters surrounding his island nation to foreign commercial fishing. The proposed marine reserve is nearly the size of France and would be one of the largest in the world.

The president’s plan inspired a young boy in Queens, New York who read about the initiative on Facebook. For the past two years, Nick Silverstein, with the help of his mom Danielle, has collected signatures from his friends and family in support of ocean conservation.

Nick hands the letter and signatures over to the president.
Nick found out about President Remengesau’s plans for the marine reserve and decided to write a letter of support. He aspired to show that the youth of the world support ocean conservation, so he recruited nearly 1000 people to co-sign his letter.

Nick and his mom handed the letter and the signatures over to President Remengesau during a meet-and-greet at the United Nations today.

If a 10 year old can protect the ocean, so can you! #sharkstanley

A photo posted by Angelo Taotaotasi (@sharkdefenders) on

“I told him I wanted him to protect the ocean,” says Nick. “I told him that kids in New York supported him and asked him to talk to kids in his country to do the same.”

President Remengesau and Shark Stanley.
In addition to the letter, Nick gave President Remengesau a copy of the book The Adventures of Shark Stanley and Friends. The book tells the story of how children around the world connect to create shark sanctuaries.

“I’m a youth ambassador for Shark Stanley and I want the president to know about our cause,” says Nick.

When Nick was only three years old he showed a special interest in the ocean.

“I think it was a National Geographic special I watched,” he explains. “I fell in love with great white sharks. They’re awesome.”
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