Is a pond just a pond?
Today I made a pastel picture of Water Lilies. Mine isn't exactly like the ones made by Claude Monet, but I think it's great. I love water and all the life that lives in and around it. Did you know that there are more than 1,000 species of animals that live there? Not all of them are in one pond, but you'll find lots, if you really look.
I have a tiny pond in my backyard. It is frozen now. We have lots of snow today. In little ponds there are frogs, fish, fleas, dragonflies and snails. There are amphibians, invertebrates and mammals in ponds. Beavers, birds, ducks and racoons live near them too.
Ponds are interesting because they support lots of different food chains. There are many plants that live in ponds such as water lilies. As well as being beautiful to look at, they make great places to give creatures shelter.
Pond water needs to stay clean so that it can help keep all the plants and animals healthy. When we dump or pollute pond water, there isn't enough oxygen to break down the pollution. One thing I've learned about pollution is that there are chemicals and fertilizers that get put on our food and the soil we use to grow crops. These chemicals can get absorbed in the water that flows to rivers, streams and ponds.
You can help keep the water in ponds clean by picking up garbage you see in and around a pond. Also, try not to eat foods with chemicals in it. Try to eat organic foods if you can. I know it isn't always easy.
There are no sharks in ponds, but there are lots of different types of fish like trout, bass and Kingfishers. Just as we do, all of the fish in ponds need clean water too. I bet Monet loved looking at all the animals, fish and plants that lives in his pond in Giverny. His paintings are inspired by the water and life that needed it to survive. I'm so glad that Monet liked ponds or we wouldn't have some of his best paintings!
I hope you like my pastel art too.
While I was waiting for a reply from Prime Minister Harper, I talked to my mom about what more I could do to save sharks. I need to help them and I like to sketch. My sister, Sammy and I started drawing sharks. My mom did too. Then we looked at Lesley Rochat's amazing photos on her website and Facebook page. She has lots of really cool photos of sharks! I love Lemon Sharks. They are so beautiful with their yellow colour. We looked at all of our sketches and decided to make a 2013 Save the Sharks Calendar.
I'm so excited to share it with you! We are asking $20.00 per calendar and all the proceeds go to AfriOceans Conservation Alliance at www.aoca.org.za. They gave me the okay to use some of Lesley's shark photos. So cool!
Writing emails and making a homemade calendar is a small way I can help. You can help by:
Order your calendar here or email me. Thanks!
Here is a sneak peak at the 2013 Save the Sharks Calendar
A letter from the PM's office.
Every day I've been waiting and checking my email inbox for a letter from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I know he must be really busy and my mom told me that I might not get a reply, but that I should keep being a voice for our sharks and our oceans. On Friday, I got an email from "The Office of the Prime Minister". It was sent to me and Mr. Ritz and Mr. Ashfield too. Here it is:
Prime Minister/Premier Ministre
I am going to email the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Fisheries. I know the sharks would want me too. I have to do this for our sharks and our oceans. Will you email them too?
Dear Prime Minister Harper - please hear my plea and bring an end to shark finning.
Let's stop the slaughter.
This morning, with my parent's help, I sent my first real email. I wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I am so upset about the City of Toronto's decision to overturn the ban on eating shark fins and shark fin products. I have to do everything I can to stop the cruel slaughter of these fantastic fish.
If you are reading this blog, I really hope that you help me be a voice for change. We can't keep killing sharks. Too many are dying. It isn't right. We can stop it. Please believe we can make a difference.
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
Imagine if you were a shark. Your kind has been on our planet for over 400 million years. You date back before the time of dinosaurs. In the last few years, you can't understand what is happening to all of your friends and family. They are being killed for their fins and then thrown back in the ocean to die. It is cruel and painful and you are so sad watching it happen. You are afraid for your life, every single day.
My name is Maddie. I am a 9 year old girl from Waterloo, Ontario who is in grade 4 at The Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School. I am passionate about saving our sharks and oceans. With every breath with take, with every drop of water we drink, we are connected to the oceans.
Sharks are a key part of the oceans. They are the top of the food chain and we kill over 70 millions sharks every year in the most cruel ways. Sharks are amazing, powerful and majestic fish. No creature has more or less right to be alive.
At a federal level, please make the eating of shark fins illegal in Canada, the country I am so proud to call my home. Keeping our oceans balanced will help them stay healthy and help our fisheries for generations to come.
I am very upset and crying about the City of Toronto's decision to overturn the eating of shark fins and shark fin products. Please, please help me stop the slaughter of these amazing fish. We need them to stay alive for the health of our planet. Here is a link to the article in The Globe and Mail.
Thank you for spending the time to read my email. It would mean to much to me if you answered my email and helped me with my call to action.
I would like you to know that I blog about our oceans at www.coolclicksplanet.com where I write about ways to save our planet. I am the first International Ambassador for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance at www.aoca.org.za
I put my faith in you,
Maddie Cranston, Ocean Warrior
An AfriOceans Warrior Greeting
It is really early here in Canada and I can't sleep because I am so excited about the AfriOceans Warrior Final Challenge of 2012. I hope all the Ocean Warriors are having so much fun today in Cape Town, South Africa.
I really wish I could be there with all the warriors, but I live really far away from South Africa. To help me feel closer to all the AfriOceans Warriors, my parents helped me make this video message.
I am so proud to be an AfriOceans Warrior! Go tribes, go!
You are unstoppable! Have fun, AfriOceans Warriors!
Hello AfriOceans Warriors! Today is December 1 and the big day of your Warriors Challenge. I am so excited for all of you and I send along my warmest greetings from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada!
I wonder which tribe will win the challenge and become the ultimate AfriOceans Warrior? All of you are winners to me because you are warriors to help save our oceans, our sharks and endangered marine life.
Even though I am far away, I am right there with you today. Why? Because with every breath we take, with every drop of water we drink, we're connected...by our oceans.
Working together as a team will help you today. You will make it across the Els River today. You have what it takes inside you to make a difference! Believe that you can make a difference and cause a ripple effect that creates a current of change.
You are strong.
You are warriors.
You are unstoppable! Be the voice for our oceans and our sharks!
Have fun today. Go AfriOceans Warriors, Go!
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry." ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732