International A-Team Member
Name: Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky, Vaquita/Marine Life
Current Age: 15
Years Active: 5
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
Greatest Event or Award:
Primary Campaign: Save the Vaquita
Education Efforts: ongoing blog, events, authored book, "The Vaquita, The Biology of an Endangered Porpoise", Edition 2, 2015
Funds Raised to Date:
Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky, born in 2000, lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Even at a young age, Aidan showed a strong interest in nature. Some of his earliest memories are hiking and birding with his parents. Aidan learned about the Vaquita porpoise in 2010. The Vaquita is the world’s smallest cetacean and most endangered marine mammal, and at the time, there were just over 200 individuals remaining in the entire world. The Vaquita only lives in the very northernmost tip of the Gulf of California, which is in Mexico, and its sole threat is accidental entanglement in fishing nets (called gillnets) that are set out for fish or shrimp. Moved by the Vaquita’s story, Aidan started V-log (vlogvaquita.com) when he was 11 years old. V-log is a website that is dedicated to providing news, information, and art about the Vaquita and its plight. Aidan uses poetry and art to convey the beauty of the Vaquita and inspire people to help it. He also writes factoids, essays, and articles, and has pages about different aspects of the Vaquita’s situation. All of these things have helped spread the word to tens of thousands of individuals in over 100 countries every year. Eventually, Aidan was contacted by the William Whittenbury of the Muskwa Club, a student organization that specializes in conservation and whose main goal is to save the Vaquita. Aidan is now the Secretary of State and Director of the Vaquita Department of the Muskwa Club. Aidan was also invited to become a board member of ¡VIVA Vaquita!, the world’s primary non-profit coalition dedicated to saving the Vaquita. Together with the Muskwa Club and ¡VIVA Vaquita!, Aidan has helped form International Save the Vaquita Day, which was recognized by President Obama. ISTVD is a global holiday that takes place every July and is celebrated through awareness tables at dozens of aquariums as well as massive social media frenzies, such as Tweetstorms on Twitter and the Post-a-day Challenge on Facebook. This year, ISTVD 2015 is on July 11.
In 2013, Aidan published the world’s first Vaquita book, titled The Vaquita: The Biology of an Endangered Porpoise, and the second edition was published in February 2015. Its cover is a painting by world-famous artist and conservationist Guillermo Munro Colosio, aka Memuco. Aidan has many associates involved in conservation, activism, business, education, art, law, and government. Aidan was working very hard to make a difference. But during all of this, the Vaquita continued to decline. Today, it is thought that fewer than 90 Vaquitas remain. Aidan and his colleagues are working tirelessly to ensure that Mexico helps turn around the Vaquita’s drastic population decline, which is believed to have accelerated due to an increase in illegal fishing for the Totoaba fish’s swim bladder because of Chinese demand for the organ. Aidan has manned and talked to hundreds of people face-to-face at awareness tables, written articles for scientific journals, given talks, had his artwork used by Greenpeace in its remarkably successful Vaquita petition campaign, and much more in hopes of spreading the word and saving this tiny, beautiful, and little-known porpoise. The Muskwa Club has even created aerial drones that will be used to monitor the Vaquita’s range. Aidan’s goal is to save the Vaquita in a way that benefits everyone in the region, such as through sustainable fishing gear. He and his associates will do everything they can to make this goal a reality.
Tabling an event