The “Shark Finatics” is a special interest and advocacy group composed of students who attend the Green Chimneys School in Brewster, New York. The Finatics are fanatics about real life jabber-jaws from Wobbegong and Goblin sharks to Cookiecutters and Great Whites. These charming marine champions are heavily invested in shark conservation. From fundraising campaigns, to adopting sharks these enterprising young crusaders have taken it upon themselves to cast a light on the global decline in Selachii populations on account of the barbarous practice of “Finning”. Robin Culler, a compassionate, engaging visionary is the force behind this group of youth activists and she helped facilitate this wonderful collaboration with Sea Speak Sphere’s Message in a Bottle. This creative partnership furnished students with the opportunity to candidly express their concerns and hopes for the ocean and its myriad wild creatures through installation art. The Finatics know that they have a voice and they work relentlessly to have it heard.
Each of the Finatics wrote out an articulate “Message” to convey in words the truths and thoughts they elected to render on to their respective bottles, here are a few examples:
Eddie – Love in the sea, the way it should be!
Victor – Sharks are the guardians of our oceans, Keep them safe!
Terry – Feel the beauty of the ocean.
Christian – With our help, there is hope for a brighter future for our sharks.
Alex –less pollution = cleaner oceans
Message in a Bottle will reopen at the end of September in Washington D.C. at the Green Festival, and the “bottles” created by the Finatics will be displayed there along with the bottles Asher is presently whipping up to represent additional “Ocean Voices” whom she has been recruiting since the World Oceans Day opening at Green Spaces in New York. When the exhibit reopens it will feature 200 bottles that will represent 200 distinct voices speaking up for the blue.
When we asked Asher Jay to surmise her experience, she eagerly praised the Finatics:
“I had an utterly delightful day in the company of some very talented, energetic minds who knew a lot about sharks, shipwrecks, marine wildlife and the world’s oceans. The Finatics stand by a simple yet effective credo: “Learn.Teach.Save,” one that seamlessly overlapped with the premise of the Message in a Bottle undertaking, which made it entirely effortless to bring their passion for the blue on board. Green Chimneys is truly remarkable, world renowned for its animal-assisted therapy program, it is an inclusive, accredited special education school located on sprawling viridian acres between lakes and swamps rich in biodiversity. It offers a holistic education that helps cultivate sensitivity in its student body toward the larger picture. I had so much fun there! I got to hang out with Llamas, pet a beautiful baby goat and make friends with some amicable sheep and curious chickens. I think very highly of Dr. Sam Ross, an astute man who was lucky enough to chance upon his calling during his early 20s, he is the founder of this multidimensional academic institution. Between the creative spirit of the Finatics, the scenic landscapes, and all the rescued wild and domestic creatures, I could not have asked for a more fulfilling experience, the kids even presented me with a handmade card and birthday gift! I was truly touched by their generous and welcoming souls.”
About Green Chimneys: Founded in 1947, Green Chimneys restores possibilities and creates futures for children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges.
To keep track of other projects given rise to by the Finatics do like and follow their Facebook Page.
Message in a Bottle will continue to travel around America and raise awareness for the world’s oceans, so any school keen on having their student’s voices heard in D.C. is welcome to get involved between now and September 15th.