My name is Hales Parcells and I am a student at the University of Virginia, studying Environmental Sciences. I have been passionate about the ocean ever since I was a little girl playing on the beach. I spend a lot of time studying the mysteries of the ocean and the more I learn, the more I am aware of all of the harm that we humans can cause. Stories about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the ever-present trouble of whaling, and recent oil spills continually strike a chord in my heart. I want to find a way to help save our oceans and share this desire with others. That’s why I became a mermaid.
Well okay, I’m not a real mermaid. I still have two legs, and I can’t breathe underwater, but every once in a while, I don my mermaid tail costume, and with a little imagination, I bring the ocean to life!
Several months ago I met Daniel R. Ford, the author of the new children's book The Marlin and the Mermaid “Help Save the Bay.” We discovered that we both share a passion for teaching children how to keep our oceans clean. Mr. Ford and I have combined our creative energies to develop a Reading Mermaid Program for elementary school children. Together, we visit schools and libraries in Virginia to spread the message of conservation to our younger generation.
Dressed up as a mermaid, I read The Marlin and the Mermaid “Help Save the Bay,” and Mr. Ford and I engage our young audiences in a conversation about how they too can help save the Bay. Children walk away with a newfound passion for the ocean and a realization that they can play an integral part in cleaning up our waters. By recycling, picking up trash, and encouraging others to become good environmental stewards, these young children can act as the voice for the sea and change our oceans’ future.
I believe that “Mermaid Hales” is a perfect example of how a child’s passion can become an adult’s activism. I hope you will join me in sharing the allure of a mermaid’s tale to speak for the seas.
More About the Book:
The Marlin and the Mermaid “Help Save the Bay” is a rhyming children's picture book designed to educate children in grades K-4 on sustainability and to teach them ways they can help keep our rivers, bays and oceans clean. Written by Daniel R. Ford, a former Merchant Marine and illustrated by two Virginia Beach artists Rick Romano and his daughter, Camie, The Marlin and the Mermaid takes the reader on a journey into the Chesapeake Bay, our Nation’s largest estuary. On a mission to find the source of trash in their ocean, the Marlin and the Mermaid navigate through the bay and teach the reader how important two sea creatures, oysters and menhadens, are to sustaining a healthy environment. They educate readers on what they can do to help prevent pollution from entering our waterways.
For more on Mermaid Hales go to facebook.com/MermaidHales
Article by Hales Purcells, Mermaid Hales