DAVIE, Fla. – All this week, we’ve been introducing you to Local10′s five Eco-Hero finalists.
They’re kids already making a difference in their schools and communities, and one of these middle schoolers will be named our 2022 Eco-Hero.
They will be traveling through wild Florida, helping us make a prime time special about the journey.
For Sienna Robertson, it was love at first sight.
“Just holding the little sea turtle and it was so magnificent. I couldn’t believe this creature was right in front of me,” she said.
Since then, Sienna has encountered lots of marine creatures, including her favorite -- the shark.
Sienna believes the best way to protect marine life is through education, which is why this 13-year-old has researched and written numerous articles about wildlife for her school newspaper.
Her passion is protecting the dwindling population of nurse sharks.
“Their behavior is just so different -- it’s special,” she said. “They are bottom feeders -- their anatomy is different from other sharks, they don’t have bones, they have cartilage.”
Back on land, at Summit-Questa Montessori School in Davie, Sienna is the chairperson of the environmental committee, spearheading a recycling program and helping to create and maintain a beautiful butterfly garden.
“Our environment supports us, it’s what we live in and if we don’t live in a healthy environment, we can’t be healthy either,” she said.
Sienna also helped to build an intricate bee hotel -- a home to attract the small but effective pollinators that are vital to our ecosystem.
Caring for the school’s farm animals is another responsibility this eighth grader enjoys.
“We have a close connection with these animals -- we’ve known them since their birth, we named them,” she said.
If Sienna is this year’s Eco-Hero, she says she would take her love of nature into wild Florida and come out of the Everglades as an even stronger environmental advocate.
“I feel like someone needs to be the voice that the environment doesn’t have itself,” she said. “To spread the word is to spread awareness and that can create change in the environment. Change is the best thing we can have, because it can create a better place to live.”
One more Eco-Hero finalist will be introduced on Friday.
Then starting Friday night, you can vote for the student you think should be this year’s Eco-Hero.