Invader Crusader Winners

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Our Invader Crusaders Through Out the Years

Collen’s thoughts on Invasive Species …

“First and foremost I would like to thank everyone involved in the Wildlife Forever State Fish Art Contest. It is an absolute honor to be chosen for the Invader Crusader award and I could not be happier.

Admittedly, before I entered this contest, I knew very little about wildlife conservation and it wasn’t really ever on my mind, it wasn’t something that I felt a need to be a part of. When I sat down and started to draw my fish and write my essay, I realized exactly how much my knowledge was lacking and set about to resolve that. The research I conducted showed me just how important wildlife conservation was and, because my fish was an invasive species, just how dangerous invasive species can be to the environment and why it is that we need organizations like this one to keep the world in good shape for the upcoming generation – my generation.

So once again, thank you, but not only for the award. I would also like to thank you for prompting me to do something about my ignorance and take a stand. What you have here is something good, something that provides learning to all of us young ones, and I wish this organization the best in all that it endeavors to do.”

Colleen Malley | 11th Grade | Pennsylvania

Erin’s thoughts on Invasive Species …

“The reason I entered the invasive species category was because I thought this was a good way to share my talent and still bring awareness to a problem in the under-water sea life.

When I decided I was going to enter the invasive category, I thought it would be a good thing to draw a fish that is affecting my community. With that idea, I did some research on local problems that the ocean has and came to see that the Red Lion fish is a huge problem right now because is a big threat to the coral reefs and native fishes along the Gulf Coast.

The Red Lion Fish eats almost anything and is very aggressive. If the red lion fish is not removed from our Coastal reefs and rigs then we may lose the native fishes and shrimp that make our marine habitat special. I got really worried when I found out that very few people know about it. So I really thought that it was a great opportunity to make people aware of how beautiful but destructive this fish is through my art.

It was a wonderful feeling and experience when I found out I won. I was thrilled and excited to know that now I had the opportunity to make a difference in the community and make more people aware about the destructive Red Lion Fish so that maybe this can be solved with the participation of all of us.”

by Erin Werner from Texas, Grade 5