Ad agency Chowder produced a children’s book that will teach children the importance of the world’s coral reefs, and the proceeds of the book, titled “Tuke the Specialist Turtle” will go to the Coral Reef Conservancy at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, a client of Chowder.
“Sixty percent of the world’s coral reefs are dead or declining. This is true and no one knows it,” Jim Ritterhoff, a partner at Chowder who serves on the institute’s board and co-wrote the book said in a statement. “It’s one of the rare things that doesn’t have to go extinct and never come back. And we can make a change. So, I’m thinking about, to laymen, how do we spread the message of, ‘There are these special places that we need to protect?’ And we (on the board) were like, ‘Well, you start with kids.’”
Rittenhoff came up with the notion to start with children due in large part to the public service announcements he was exposed to as a child– Woodsy Owl and Smokey the Bear– that warned of the effects of pollution and forest fires.
Tuke is a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) who struggles to determine where he belongs in the ocean world. He then meets up with a whale shark who has been tagged for scientific study. The shark explains to Tuke that researchers chose him to study, and the more that they learn about you, the more they learn about the sea and the coral reefs and how to go about protecting the reefs and the sea from man-made maladies.
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The agency printed 3,000 copies of the book, which will be sold online and in book stores and gift shops inside museums and aquariums. The agency also earmarked 800 copies of the book for schools on the Cayman Islands, which is where the Central Caribbean Marine Institute is located.
Coral reefs are in decline worldwide due to such factors as ocean acidification, climate change and warming seas, development, overfishing, urban runoff, pesticide use, and other man made and natural factors. Countries have begun to realize their decline and are beginning to act to help restore and protect coral reefs, though there is a long way to go to educate the masses about the importance of the reefs and the animals (and people) who are reliant on them.
For more information about Tuke: The Specialist Turtle and the the Coral Reef Conservancy, visit www.coralreefconservancy.org. Tuke: The Specialist Turtle will beavailable on Amazon starting July 1.