There Otter Be A List

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Not too long ago The Otter Project worked with a local teacher who had some students interested in doing a project on the no otter zone. The students were participating in a GATE project, and they wanted to learn about otters, but also about advocacy. What was really great about their project was the fact that they wanted to impact the issue, not just learn about it.

The 5th graders doing the project ended up teaching younger classes about sea otters and the no otter zone, and organizing a collection of letters and art to be sent to Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy (who is obstructing the process of ending the no otter zone). They sent the art to us, and we compiled it in a book, and sent it on to the Navy and the Service. The end product was truly delightful–incredible artwork featuring otters of all colors, with a loud and clear message that children care about sea otters and are invested in their environmental future.

In addition to the pictures, one student, Isabella, wrote an incredible poem about sea otters. In compiling the art work, I got sidetracked and forgot to share it, but I’d like to post it here.

We get very caught up in science and policy here at The Otter Project–but we’re so happy to see sea otters inspiring art, poetry, and generating creativity. It’s a powerful way to keep people connected to the cause.

There Otter Be  A List, by Isabella Calcatera

I’m furry and brown,
I live in the kelp,
and all I can say is,
I need some help.
We otters are struggling
to live and to thrive
so I made a short list
to help us survive.
Please lean in close,
and I’ll whisper to you,
just a few of the things
that you can do.
1. We all know that it’s gross,
and that car litter’s smelly,
but if you flush it away,
it could end up in my belly.
Please think twice,
and your effort will pay.
Please scoop it and bag it
and throw it away.
2. Recycle your paper,
and plastics, and glass.
You’ll make less pollution
and let otters last.
3. If you go to the store
to buy a new coat,
find out what it’s made of
just so you don’t
buy anything that was made from my fur,
because if it’s not on me,
I’m all chilly…Brrrrr!
Well, I hope that you’ve listened
and maybe you’ve learned
just one thing or two
from the list that you’ve heard.
I may be one otter,
but there are many of you.
Add up your actions,
it’s not hard to do.
No, our story’s not over,
I’ll declare it quite gladly,
tomorrow you’ll see us,
playful and happy.

About Allison

I am the new Executive Director of The Otter Project in Monterey, California! Originally from the Bay Area, I went to school in San Diego, and came back north to Monterey for graduate school, where I found my calling: saving sea otters! Working for The Otter Project combines my passion for environmental policy with my love of animals. When not advocating for sea otters, I enjoy yoga, volunteer wildlife rehab, reading, and spending time with my cat Alyssa, who, for the record, I did not name. I have been with The Otter Project since November of 2007.
This entry was posted in Kid Art, No Otter Zone, Partners and friends, Sea otter art and culture, sea otters ARE cute and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to There Otter Be A List

  1. Barbara Wertz says:

    What a wonderful project! I loved the poem and the artwork. I hope that it makes the impact that it should!!!

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