Janine Licare, 14, Quepos, Costa Rica
Environmental Action: Saving the Rainforest and its Animals
How do endangered Titi squirrel monkeys cross the road in Costa Rica? On rope “bridges” built by Kids Saving the Rainforest. Janine Licare formed this organization in Costa Rica to help save endangered animals, organize tree plantings, and preserve the rainforest. Janine is especially talented at caring for baby rainforest animals such as sloths, kinkajous, and Titi monkeys. The Costa Rica rainforest is quickly disappearing due to development, tourism and agriculture. Now, thanks to Janine and Kids Saving the Rainforest, this beautiful part of the world and its animals are being protected, including the tiny one and a half pound Titi squirrel monkey of which less than 1,500 remain. www.kidssavingtherainforest.org
Christina Faust, 16, Athens, Georgia, USA
Scientific Discovery: Researching River Banks
For the last three years, Christina has been studying “riparian buffers,” the land and vegetation beside a stream or river. She has shown how important these areas are to our ecosystems, and how the human destruction of riparian zones hurts people and the environment. Christina has written research papers, given talks, and exhibited at science fairs. Her research will also be recognized in an ecology journal. Christina used her work to successfully protest a Georgia law that would have allowed the pollution of several streams.
Salaar Khan (aged 11), Peshawar, Pakistan
Environmental Action: Influencing Others
Salaar is a founding member of “Hurri Dunya” (which means a Green World in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language). On a community level, “Hurri Dunya” is spreading awareness about the harmful effects of plastic bags, and persuades people to use cloth bags instead. Because Pakistan has few landfills, used plastic bags are burned, resulting in the emission of toxic chemicals called ‘dioxins’ which can cause cancer when inhaled. Salaar has also received recognition for his speeches, art and poetry. Recently, in Washington, D.C., he received a prize for a poster he designed about environmental destruction.
Alexis Kuiper (aged 15) Fairfax, Virginia, USA
Environmental Action: Educating Others
Alexis wants to persuade girls to become scientists and introduce young people and their parents to conservation issues. She organized “DC Discovering Conservation,” an environmental expo that included more than 50 organizations from all over the U.S. Alexis continues to speak out and educate others about conservation resources. She is currently organizing a butterfly garden at her school. Alexis wants to study science, and become an explorer, researcher and scientist.
Amy Steinmetz (aged 16) Woodbridge, Connecticut, USA
Environmental Action: No Butts About It
While doing a beach clean up when she was eight years old, Amy was appalled by the number of discarded cigarette butts. Now she and her siblings run the “No Butts About It” campaign. She has learned that cigarette litter is bad for the health of very young children, family pets, wild animals and birds, besides entering and polluting water. Amy has designed posters that say “The Earth Is Not Your Ashtray – Keep Our Earth Clean!” She has also given speeches, distributed ash trays to beach-goers, and written to public officials to educate people to stop throwing their cigarette butts on the ground. www.nobuttsaboutit.net Update (June 2006): Read about Amy’s ongoing efforts.
Honorable Mention ($75 each, plus a certificate)
Paul Banwart (aged 13) Shakopee, Minnesota, USA
Environmental Action: Bats in the Bat Houses
Paul organized a project to educate and demonstrate the importance of bat habitat. He has created a brochure and web site, installed bat boxes to hold bats, and educated others to do likewise. This will be beneficial for bats and people, since bats eat thousands of disease-spreading mosquitoes.
Ryan Just (aged 16) Miami, Florida, USA
Environmental Action: Fishing Line Recyling
When Ryan saw sea birds and marine animals tangled in discarded fishing lines, which can cause starvation and death, he wanted to do something to stop this. He solicited donations, recruited volunteers, and organized a project to build recycling bins, encourage people to recycle used fishing lines, and do shoreline cleanup.
T.J. Tullo (aged 16) Staten Island, New York, USA
Scientific Discovery: Improving Marine Life
After volunteering with Alliance for Living Oceans, T.J. became curious about the impact of housing development on marine life near his home. He installed artificial reefs called “reef balls” under his family’s dock, and discovered the “reef balls” improved marine life. T.J. is encouraging greater use of “reef balls” in his neighborhood, and is continuing his testing of the waters and sediment in New Jersey.
Lindsey Williams (aged 16) St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
Scientific Discovery: Thoughtful Tomato Growing
Lindsey spent five years testing how to produce tomatoes while conserving our forests and water supply. She developed several ways to grow tomatoes that use less water, and she promotes the use of metal, not wooden, stakes. Lindsey believes that if the 27 million home gardeners in the USA use her techniques tens of thousands of trees and enough water to fill two large sized lakes could be saved each year. She has presented her findings at science fairs, to TV networks, gardening clubs and civic groups. Lindsey donates the excess fresh vegetables she grows for her experiments to needy families.
Margaret Feldman, School Outreach Program Manager, California Academy of Sciences
Brian Gibeson, Environmental Educator
Sasha Rabin, Program Manager, River of Words Art & Poetry Contest
Susan Silberman, Youth Adventure Program Manager, Hostelling International
Ed Smith Ph.D. Aquatic Biologist, Researcher and Professor
AFN Board of Directors
Evelyn de Ghetaldi (President), Shimon Schwarzschild (Founder and Secretary), Jean Barish, Esq., David Gilford, Beryl Kay, Tamsin Orion, Adrienne Scroggie
AFN Board of Advisors
Albert Baez, Ph.D., Shirley Richardson Brower, Marisa Cohen, Jerry Dodson, Ruth Gottstein, Mimi Griffin-Jones, Sidney Holt, Ph.D., Huey Johnson, Alan Scroggie, Kimmie Weeks, William Whalen
Our thanks to the following for generously helping to fund these awards: the Flow Fund, Bioneers Fund, Parnassus Investments, Weiner Nusin Foundation, and generous grants from many individuals. We are immensely grateful to our financial supporters.