what can we do to help?

squidboymom

Blue Ring
Registered
#1
As a family, we are very concerned about the decline of marine ecosystems. Our son wants to know what he can do, at 8yrs. old,to help. I wonder if he could do something with the pictures he draws? Any ideas are welcome!
 

cephalopodcast

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#2
squidboymom;175474 said:
As a family, we are very concerned about the decline of marine ecosystems. Our son wants to know what he can do, at 8yrs. old,to help. I wonder if he could do something with the pictures he draws? Any ideas are welcome!
Google around for Zander Srodes. He started his ocean conservation efforts at the age of eleven and his story is quite inspirational.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20060918/NEWS/609180441
 

squidboymom

Blue Ring
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#4
Thanks for the tips. That article was really neat! I also had a similar thought about him selling copies. I think I might call one of our state parks near the coast and see about any programs or ideas they might have.
 

neurobadger

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#5
If you have access to a scanner and know how to retouch it via Photoshop or some other program, do that and keep a copy of the files. You may be able to do a lot with them.

Open a Cafepress or Zazzle store with his drawings on them and donate the proceeds.
 

squidboymom

Blue Ring
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#7
I'm getting ideas now. I think I might be able to set up some kind of event with one of the local restaraunts we sell pork to near the beach. I'll be keeping the coral in mind...any whale or squid foundations anyone can recommend as well?
 

mucktopus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
#8
That's great to hear your son wants to help out! The first step is for him to decide on something he loves and wants to protect. From there he can choose from lots of ways to help- remembering that passion and well-informed word of mouth are extremely powerful. For example, even without giving a penny if he wants to protect the oceans a great way to do this is by eating sustainable fisheries products. If he tells others about Seafood Watch then he could help lots of people avoid choices and purchases that harm the environment.
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

If your family wants to fundraise, then there are lots of ways to do this (but again homework and speaking about it to spread the word help - IF that's something he wants to do). In one of the places I've worked kids used to paint and sell postcards, and the proceeds went to a village education project. What to support should be in line with what he loves- in general lots of projects needing funding (at all scales) can be found online. In searching these, it helps to see groups that tell you what projects or actions they are involved with and how the money will be used- as well as examples of successful past projects. If you're not finding the information you need to make a decision about whether or not you are interested in their group, then don't hesitate to contact someone from the group to ask questions. Or if you're son isn't able to find the right NGO/non-profit he likes, then consider finding out which professors or grad students may be doing fieldwork to understand those animals- supporting student project is a great way to learn a lot about the oceans with little money. But if you want direct protection and conservation action, then look into a non-profit or NGO.

I don't know of any squid conservation foundations- some populations are protected through fisheries legislation. It would be worth looking into the latest on who's spearheading the work to conserve the Sepia apama in southern Australia. For marine mammals- this group http://www.whaleadoption.org/ seems to have a good variety of ways to help out whale conservation, at many different levels of giving (though I don't know the group myself). The NGO that I work for, Conservation International, has a good website for finding more information about marine conservation (I especially like the everyday solutions in the "discover our solutions" tab).
http://www.conservation.org/act/get_involved/protect_oceans/Pages/save_a_mile.aspx

If you are interested in protecting coral- we work to protect the global center of coral (and reef fish) biodiversity. One of our sites, the amazing Ayau Atoll, is working hard to stop compressor/cyanide fishing for the aquarium and life reef fish trades (which kills coral and lots of other animals): http://www.conservation.org/sites/marine/initiatives/seascapes/birds_head/pages/birdshead.aspx

No matter what your son wants to support- this is wonderful that he's interested in helping out- and his most effective means of doing so is to spread the word and inform others!
 

squidboymom

Blue Ring
Registered
#10
Thank you! I'm going to check out all the links you sent. We are also going to talk to the events coordinator for the restaraunt I was thinking about. I think I might also give a list of seafood no-no's to the chef. He's pretty open-minded. Roy wants to try draw pictures, get some framed and maybe auction them off or something similar. It may take into the summer to get it all together, but it'll keep him busy. Does anyone know of ceph or whale field work needing funding? I thought that sounded neat. I've got some research ahead!
 

squidboymom

Blue Ring
Registered
#13
Just wanted to thank you all for being so wonderfully generous with all of your suggestions. I'm looking into them all and making lists! One thing I've learned...most people have no idea how much we are affecting marine life.
 

cephlapodlover

Blue Ring
Registered
#14
That's really cool that at eight years old your son is already interested in helping others (marine life). Also he must have a great mom to go out of her way and help her son on his "project".

Also I browsed your sons pictures and they are really good!
 

cephlapodlover

Blue Ring
Registered
#15
squidboymom;175767 said:
One thing I've learned...most people have no idea how much we are affecting marine life.
People are very focused on their own lives so they really just don't pay attention to ocean life :hmm: And, a lot of people also really just don't care...
 

squidboymom

Blue Ring
Registered
#16
Roy tries to tell his school friends about conservation and paying attention to the world around them, but they have no frame of reference. He gets really discouraged sometimes, which is why we want to help him with this project. He'll be so pleased that you like his pictures! He's already informed me that he's going to need lots of paper,pencils and markers.
 

neurobadger

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#17
Sounds as if your kid is going through some of the same things I went through as a kid, although conservation was less my thing than the more experimental, theoretical aspects of science.

Perhaps you can find a nature center in your community that has educational programs. I used to volunteer at one as a wee rugrat and there were programs for kids of all ages.

The disappointment is going to happen. Prepare him to encounter more of it as he gets older, if he's in similar shoes to the ones I'm in. This will not only help him conserve his energy, but will also steer him toward those who will be his allies. Help him learn to seek out those who care about similar things.
 

Mike Bauer

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#18
Sound like you are doing the right thing already, supporting him. Take him to you local aquarium and they have different kinds of support programs and later when he is older then he can volunteer part time to learn more about what his passion might be; save the whales or help the sea turtles. Good job! so few really care.
 

squidboymom

Blue Ring
Registered
#19
It's nice to hear stories of other people's youthful struggles. I'm going to let Roy read today's posts when he gets home today. We are making plans this summer to start taking him to are closest state park on the coast. Unfortunately, we don't have an aquarium close by, but I'm sure we ca locate some resources.
 

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