Saturday, February 16, 2013

Small Hope Bay Lodge's Positive Impact on Young Diver

Gabriella is a young girl who came to Small Hope Bay Lodge last summer with her parents. Both mom and dad were divers and being that she was 10 years old she decided it was time she became a Junior Open water Diver. Ella worked hard during her stay and within a short time she was certified! She was able to go on many dives with her parents including two dives to Shark Emporium.  This dive was particularly fun for her. It was her first time seeing sharks and diving with them was something she was curious about and something that had a big impact on her life. 

When Ella returned home she took part in an educational program done by the organization PeaceFirst. While the fundamental lessons of the activities she took part in would be very beneficial to children of her age, Ella was quite dismayed by the misrepresentation the activity made about sharks, which she had come to love so much. The activity painted sharks as vicious and likely to harm/kill people. Below is her response to these activities. Ella took it upon herself to voice her opinions to the organization and in turn they have decided to change their curriculum. 

Ella is aware, as many of us are, that shark populations are facing more trouble than ever before. As well she can appreciate that as apex predators they are extremely beneficial to our ocean's ecosystems. Many factors are contributing to their declining numbers, however humans are at the top of that list. The motivation behind Ella's mission to change the curriculum at PeaceFirst is simply that we need more people to care and stand-up for sharks. If everyone knew the truth about sharks, that they are not blood-thirsty, man eating machines, but instead beautiful, curious and impressive creatures, ones that are vital to the survival of our seas, they might, like Ella take a stand and protect them. 

We are very proud of the work Ella has done. Being courageous enough to stand up for what you believe in at such a young age is quite impressive. May we all learn from Ella's experience and do our best to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves. 

Please read Ella's letter to PeaceFirst below and well as the response she received from them.

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