This last month has been so awesome. I've had a chance to share my message and raise awareness about protecting our planet.
In the month of March and April I spoke at a number of events including: a day long school event about ocean conservation, TEDxWaterloo Youth, a plastics workshop for echo-hydrology professors planned by the University of Waterloo and then last week, I spoke to 1500 students at the Count Me In Conference in Mississauga.
To top it off in the best way, my mom took me to see Rob Stewart's movie, REVOLUTION. It was incredible. I loved Revolution because we see the harm that we are causing and how much this is affecting us, our oceans and marine life.
We see that TIME IS RUNNING OUT and we need everyone of us to join the fight to save our oceans.
We see that the oceans have a thriving role in every part of survival and existence.
We see that without a change, our oceans will disappear. We see that we need to act NOW!
I cried when I watched REVOLUTION (and so did my mom...). I cried when Rob swam with the Whale Sharks. I saw their beauty. I saw their worth, but I also see that these amazing creatures will be gone. I cried during the movie REVOLUTION when I saw youth being rejected for speaking from their hearts, and for caring about our planet. This is NOT right because youth are changing the world. Youth are our future. Youth are our present.
Rob tells us that if we all join together and raise awareness, we will save our planet and our oceans. This is the best message and exactly what our world needs to hear now, on Earth Day and every day.
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:
Here is a sneak peak at the 2013 Save the Sharks Calendar
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?
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
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!
Desire2Learn Mobilize Conference Nov 26
Wow. I can't believe it. It seems like so long ago when Mr. Shawn McEwen asked me if I would like to speak at Desire2Learn's Mobilize Thought Leader Conference at Bingeman Park on November 26.
It is tomorrow! Crazy!
I am sooo excited to get to share my message about saving our sharks and our oceans.
Even more cool is that I get to talk about technology and social media.
I love technology. It has done so much for me. Because of social media, I can blog and I get to read nice comments from people who read my blog. It encourages me and pushes me forward to keep sharing my message.
I also use Twitter. My 'handle' is @sharkwarriorjr. I like to tweet about guess what? You know it -- saving our oceans and our endangered sharks. Yup, its true.
I like to use technology and I research on the Internet A LOT. I follow my heroes at AfriOceans Conservation Alliance - Lesley Rochat (Founder and THE Shark Warrior) and Terry Corr (Head of Education). I also watch amazing videos about the oceans, sharks and all kinds of marine life.
Oh, back to tomorrow's conference. I'm stoked to listen to all the other presenters. The agenda looks really awesome! Check it out at D2L's Mobilize Conference. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get to talk to the other presenters and lots of the attendees.
I'm really hoping to meet Jian Ghomeshi, the host of Q on CBC Radio. My parents are fans of Q and I am too. I couldn't believe that Jian interviewed Van Morrison and Goyte. Jian and I have a few things in common including the fact that we both LOVE to eat Pistachios. Jian is the closing keynote speaker at the Mobilize Conference tomorrow.
Who says you can't be excited for Monday to arrive. With D2L's conference tomorrow....I can't wait!! One more sleep to go!!!
Hello everyone! I'm so excited to share with you through my blog. With my parents help, I just recorded a YouTube message for my fellow AfriOceans Warriors. On December 1 in Cape Town, South Africa, 17 tribes of children will compete in the Warrior Challenge.
This is part of the educational work that AfriOceans Conservation Alliance does. My friend and the Head of Education, Terry Corr, helps children learn about saving our oceans and marine life (especially sharks).
I am sooooo excited to be an ambassador for them. I can share my video on December 1, after the Warriors see it to start their challenge.
I also changed schools this week. I'm back in a school where my message is supported and my work to save our oceans is encouraged. I will have a chance to talk to my class about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and how we can save our planet from the harm we do. We pollute and over fish and we kill sharks. The more we know about the mistakes that are made, the more children can help make a difference. We can all learn, grow and make changes for the good of our planet.
If we believe, we can all make a difference. Will you join me? Will you try?
Please, our oceans and our endangered sharks need your help. Thank you.
At school, I made a big poster about Bull Sharks or Zambi Sharks. It is hanging in the hall near the front entrance right now. I chose the Bull Shark because it is unlike most other sharks and has some cool weird features. The Bull Shark is able to swim in fresh water! It is able to do so because it has special traits that other sharks don't.
The Bull Shark is named so because it is large and stout and I think more so because of its behaviour and personality. It is aggressive, grumpy and has been responsible for most attacks. It is one of the four most dangerous sharks. It usually hunts alone and it is know to eat other sharks. It usually likes to eat fish, dolphin and sea turtles. It is able to swim in shallow waters and has been spotted in Kentucky and Ohio rivers! Sometimes, when we afraid of something, it helps to learn a lot about it and it helps our fear go away.
A Bull Shark has organs that help it balance the right amount of salt and water in its body. Its rectal gland helps it dump out extra salt from living in seawater. When a Bull Shark is in freshwater, its rectal gland dumps out less salt. It gets pretty technical to explain how this works, but I think the Bull Shark is cool because it is so adaptable to seawater and freshwater.
Although it is not on the endangered list, we still need to keep a watch on it so that it doesn't get added to the list. There is so much overfishing, pollution and shark finning. We need to raise awareness. The Bull Sharks are part of our ecosystem and they need protecting too.
This blog is to thank people who have been so amazing to me. People who believe in me and are helping me share my message.
First, I would like to thank Lesley Rochat and Terry Corr. What a surprise! When I got home from our trip to NYC, I was so happy to see a package for me from my hero, Lesley Rochat, Shark Warrior. Terry Corr, Head of Education for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance and Lesley asked me to be an ambassador for AOCA. They mailed me t-shirts, a cap, badge and membership card for AfriOceans. I wore my cap, t-shirt and badge to school the very next day. It really helped to get more of my friends interested in learning more about sharks. I'm working on a poster for my class about interesting facts about Bull Sharks right now.
Even though we live so far apart, I feel very connected to Lesley and Terry and AfriOceans. They are amazing people and make me feel like I can make a difference. I am excited to share my message about saving our sharks and our oceans.
I would like to thank 570 News and the people who nominated me as a good samaritan for our community. This week I am the 570 News Good Samaritan. Every day on the news more people are learning about why we need to save our sharks. I am so thankful to 570 News for this honour.
I would like to thank Charity Republic and Popy Dimoulas-Graham for all of her encouragement and asking me to present at Ignite Charity. Thanks to Jim Moss for making me smile with The Smile Epidemic. It is awesome to make new friends!
I was honoured to meet MP Peter Braid at Ignite Charity. Thanks for sending me a card with our photo and for your tweet. Peter works so hard for our community.
Many thanks to Melissa Y, The Bourbon Baker for her blog post about my Ignite Charity speech. It was a great reminder about how we can all change the world if we just believe and try.
Please try. Together we can stop shark finning, overfishing and polluting our oceans.
On Sept. 12 I gave my first speech at Ignite Charity. I didn't know how nervous I would be. I was. I knew that I wanted to talk about saving sharks and saving the oceans. I had to do it. There were so many people and cameras. I had to hold a mic. Did I mention all the people? Almost 300 people were watching me. I thought I memorized my whole speech. I knew that I could do it in my sleep, but when I saw all those people, it was as if my brain froze a little. Everyone cheered me on when I forgot a line. They were so nice. They wanted to help and so I kept going. My 20 slides that changed every 15 seconds went so fast. I couldn't keep up, but it didn't matter. People listened anyway. I hope I got my message out.
Here is my message: Hi my name is Maddie. I am 9 years old and I am an activist and an Ocean Warrior. We all need to try every day to do what we can to save our oceans because with every breath we take, with every drop of water we drink, we are connected to the oceans. We are harming marine life with overfishing, shark finning and pollution.
EVERYONE can make a difference if we just try. Please try. Help save our beautiful planet, our magical oceans and sharks that I love.
I am Maddie, I am an activist and an Ocean Warrior. You can be one too.
Please help AfriOceans and my hero Lesley Rochat do what they can to save our sharks. Help Oceana save our oceans and help National Geographic teach kids like me about our planet and all the animals in it.
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry." ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732