The following piece of writing by Gabrielle that was published in her school newsletter sums up Gabrielle:
The Seas Future
Dolphins and whales are amazing creatures. I watch whales and dolphins from my home by the sea. Dr Mels Barton came to our school and told us about the challenges sealife face in their home. The sea is getting polluted and that is causing the sea creatures to die. It is getting polluted by people on boats and rubbish on the beach. Plastic Is a problem. At school one of our values is respect, so as a school we respected the beach by doing a beach clean up and we are protecting the beach by collecting information for the metre squared project.
I decided to make a difference by picking up rubbish, when I go walking on the beach. When we go shopping we use our own bags not plastic bags from the supermarket. We try to buy things that are not wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. At home we have a vegetable garden so we don’t have to buy vegetables wrapped in plastic bags all the time. Everyday we walk to school and have waste free lunches, We use reusable aluminium drink bottles. I do all these things to make a difference so we will reduce pollution every year and less sea creatures will die. When I get older I would like to save sea life and animals like Bindi Irwin and Dr Mels Barton. I want more people to do these things to protect the environment so when I Iook out at the sea I view beautiful sea life not pollution.
by Gabrielle Dalton -Wilson Age 8.
Gabrielle takes every opportunity to protect the ocean. From an early age she has been actively involved in multiple beach clean ups of the local area. She continues to collect rubbish daily from the local beach or the surrounding streets to prevent garbage going down the drain. Gabrielle discourages consumerism to preserve the worlds resources, and encourages reusing. When going grocery shopping she will first check to see what we have growing in the garden. Gabrielle ensures our vehicle is always equipped with reusable bags eliminating the use of plastic bags. To monitor and protect the ocean she volunteers to participate in marine metre squared data collection. She is always eager to learn more about the ocean and marine life (especially dolphins and orcas). She aspires one day to be a marine biologist to protect our oceans for future generations. To save our oceans we all have an important role to play and Gabrielle takes this seriously. This was demonstrated recently, when on our sailing holiday she insisted we turned the boat around as she saw a plastic bottle in the sea, that on closer inspection she discovered it marked the mooring. She is always on the alert for foreign objects that don’t belong in the ocean. It upsets her to see what damage people can cause the ocean. Gabrielle is determined to protect the ocean.
For someone so young Gabrielle has a passion and commitment to make a real difference to the marine environment. A little person with a loud voice that makes people listen. She will stop complete strangers who are littering and point out the error of their ways. Gabrielle walks the talk, making her a true ocean champion. Be it preventing pollution of the water, becoming vegetarian to “save lives”, refusing plastic bags, recycling and reusing, monitoring the coastline or seeking more marine knowledge, Gabrielle lives out her value of respect for the ocean habitat and marine life and tries to educate other people, this is what makes her an ocean champion.
Nominated by: Tracey-Lee Dalton, Te Puru Community Centre on 30 January 2018