Grand Bahama
EARTHCARE Eco Kids learn all about sharks
Nov 18, 2015 - 10:59:34 AM

Jillian Morris-Brake of Sharks4Kids with the EARTHCARE Eco Kids after a successful day learning about and seeing sharks in the wild on the Reef Tours Glassbottom Boat.

On November 14th, 2015, the EARTHCARE Eco Kids learned about Sharks around the World. Gail Woon, Founder of EARTHCARE and a Director of Save The Bays was elated to be able to bring renowned Shark Marine Biologists, Duncan Brake and Jillian Morris Brake from Bimini to interact and teach the EARTHCARE Eco Kids.

According to Woon, “This has been a whirlwind 3 days. Jillian and Duncan hit the ground running. I picked them up from the airport and we proceeded straight to Tabernacle Christian Academy where they did their Sharks4Kids presentation to Grades 4-7. I was very impressed at how engaged the students were in the session. Whenever Jillian or Duncan asked a question almost every hand shot up trying to answer the question. From Tabernacle it was on to Rotary. Jillian and Duncan spoke on the Role of Media and Science in Shark Conservation. After this presentation the duo visited Bishop Michael Eldon School and spoke to students there about Shark Facts and Shark Conservation and Research. After a short break Duncan and Jillian ran a Town Meeting on Shark Conservation at the Canal House at Pelican Bay.

EARTHCARE Eco Kids watch wild shark eating the fish on the Reef Tours Glassbottom Boat.

On Friday, Sharks4 Kids visited Lucaya International School and went back to speak to the grade 9 students at the Taberrnacle Christian Academy.

Then came Saturday, the culmination and the real reason for their visit to Grand Bahama. Jillian and Duncan met the EARTHCARE Eco Kids and after an educational presentation, went on the Reef Tours Glassbottom Boat to see sharks in the wild.

Jillian Morris Brake asks questions. EARTHCARE Eco Kids offer answers.

Jillian Morris Brake remarked, “The goal of the Sharks4Kids visit was to provide an insight into the world of sharks for these students. The Shark Sanctuary of the Bahamas will continue to be a important conservation step at the hand of future generations. By presenting information to the Eco Kids, we hope they will step up as role models and spread the information to their fellow students and peers. Providing information and then the opportunity to actually see live sharks in the world, really instills the ideas of conservation and combats the man eater stereotypes sharks have. I think the program with EARTHCARE was a wild success and we cannot wait to get back.”

The EARTHCARE Eco Kids were treated to an amazing two hour trip out over coral reefs and sea bed in a glass-bottom boat. For most of them, it was a first time experience, and the excitement and experience will be forever remembered.

Duncan Brake filming the EARTHCARE Eco Kids aboard the Reef Tours Glassbottom Boat on their Shark Expedition.

During the Reef Tours, glass bottom boat cruise, Captain Henrick fed Caribbean Reef Sharks. The enthusiastic students were screaming with joy.

Born and raised in Maine, Jillian Morris Brake’s love for the ocean started at an early age and has continued to play an integral role in her adult life. She has spent thousands of hours in the field working and diving with sharks across the globe. She is a marine biologist, shark advocate, scuba instructor, explorer, educator, unabashedly obsessed with sharks and a lover of all things water. As the executive director of Oceanicallstars conservation media group, she combines her love of these animals with a passion for photo, video and writing. As a videographer she has worked with National Geographic, Discovery, BBC, Animal Planet, PBS, ESPN, ITV, E!, ABC and numerous other international networks.

L-R Angelina Rahming, EARTHCARE Eco Kids Team Leader, Jillian Morris Brake & Duncan Brake, Sharks4Kids and Samia Rampersadm EARTHCARE Eco Kids Team Leader. Angelina and Samia present EARTHCARE Appreciation Certificates to Jillian and Duncan for their efforts from November 12-14 on behalf of EARTHCARE.

In 2012, after several years of working on the project, Jillian launched Sharks4Kids, Inc. Combining the filming, photography and science to create shark education curriculum, activities and videos to bring into the classroom. The goal is to create the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventures. Along with classroom visits and educational materials, Sharks4Kids is also providing opportunities for kids to snorkel with sharks and going on tagging expeditions. “Kids offer hope for the future of our planet and it is critical that they have the knowledge to save these amazing creatures. They have a voice, they will be heard and they will save sharks.”

Duncan Brake graduated with a degree in marine biology from Sterling University in Scotland before heading south to work as a junior scientist and fisheries observer. During his time in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica; Duncan began honing his filming skills, capturing stunning images and video of the amazing and unique wildlife. A stint at the Sharklab in Bimini, The Bahamas found Duncan more involved in various shark related film shoots. He returned as the media manager and began filming for National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet and Discovery among others. Duncan created the media organization, OceanicAllstars as a means of bringing like-minded individuals together to create photos, videos and graphics to spread conservation messages. Duncan has been nominated for an Emmy for his work on the Animal Planet series Whale Wars, and was one of the main cameramen for the groundbreaking BBC series Shark.

Duncan travels the world filming sharks and other wildlife and combines a science background with his unique vision of the wild world to create powerful images he hopes inspire people to dive in, explore and take care of sharks and the planet. He is also the media director for Sharks4Kids.

EARTHCARE would like to thank our sponsors, Flamingo Air, The Canal House at Pelican Bay, Pelican Bay Resort, Reef Tours, Aisling Brooks Rademaker, Take the Cake Bakery, Pizza Hut, and H. Forbes Charter.

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