Ocean Hero Finalists: Sophi Bromenshenkel - Oceana USA
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May 24, 2011

Ocean Hero Finalists: Sophi Bromenshenkel

This is the tenth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured junior Ocean Hero finalist is shy eight-year-old Sophi Bromenshenkel, who has been working from her hometown of Richfield, Minnesota to protect sharks.

Sophi’s interest in the oceans started on a fishing trip with her uncle in the Florida Keys four years ago. Last year, when she saw a pregnant bull shark left for dead on a beach near her uncle’s home, she decided she had to take action.

By selling lemonade and hot chocolate, shark cookies and wristbands, and through email campaigns and local fliers, Sophi has raised more than $3,500 for sharks. She has partnered with the University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, where her funds pay for satellite tags on sharks.

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and his team are tracking the sharks in order to better understand their habitat and migration patterns to keep them safe. (Fun fact: Oceana also worked with Dr. Hammerschlag and his team on our Gulf of Mexico expedition last summer.) Last year the University named a tiger shark after her, which she follows online.

Sophi has begun educating others about the threats facing sharks, and the media has taken note, too. In this Fox News clip about the University of Miami’s shark tagging program, she makes a cameo at the 1:30 mark:

Only one more week to vote! Check out the other finalists, cast your vote and spread the word! And stay tuned for more spotlighted finalists in the coming days.

Special thanks to the sponsors of the Ocean Heroes Award for making all of this possible: Nautica, Revo and For Cod & Country, the new book by chef and National Geographic fellow Barton Seaver.