Here’s a report from Vanishing Paradise about the testimony of its youngest pro staff member during a public meeting in New Orleans. He spoke on behalf of restoration for wetlands and other fisheries habitat on the Gulf Coast.
Nine-year-old Sean Turner waited patiently for his turn to speak. When his name was called, he marched confidently to the microphone in a room packed wall-to-wall with over 200 policy makers, state and federal agency reps, reporters, scientists, and community leaders. His comments were simple and straightforward.
"I love to fish in Louisiana and I've done it my entire life. It's important that we're able to fish because it means so much to all of us. This is a lot of money we are talking about. Don't mess this up. I want Louisiana's coast to stay here. I don't want to lose it because of some dumb oil spill."
As he uttered the last word of the simple message that came straight from his 9-year-old heart, the entire room BURST.... I mean literally BURST into riotous applause and shouts of support. People followed him out of the room clamoring to share words of thanks, support, and encouragement.
In a room of conservation, legal, scientific and policy professionals, Sean made the most honest and meaningful statement. Subsequent speakers cited his comments as they spoke to the RESTORE council representatives. "Sean said it best. We have to get this right. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to make sure that his generation has the opportunity to experience the Louisiana we love, and to share it with their children. We have to get this right"
I couldn't be more proud of Sean and his mother Marissa. They drove from their home an hour away, on their dime, to make their feelings know and to make a statement for future generations.
And Sean did it better than anyone in the room.
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