Read the full story at Treehugger.
Early this year, youth activist Leo Berry was at the Indiana State House with his mom and a couple of friends to support a climate resolution study and research bill that was being introduced. While there, the 11-year-old also heard about a bill that would repeal Indiana’s wetlands protections.
SB 389 would revoke the law requiring a permit from the department of environmental management for wetland activity in a state-regulated wetland.1 According to the Nature Conservancy, Indiana has already lost 85% of its original wetlands. If the bill passes, up to 90% of the remaining wetlands could be at risk.2
“I was shocked as we listened to Victoria Spartz [then state senator, now state representative] explain that it was a hassle and cost taxpayers dollars to continue to have protection on our wetlands,” Leo tells Treehugger.
“She introduced this bill and I listened knowing this was not good, and after hearing about it that day and hearing the committee vote to pass it to the Senate for a vote, but NOT the climate resolution, I knew I had to do something. We need wetlands and healthy ecosystems to thrive.”
Leo and his mom Lindsey, already founded the non-profit Helping Ninjas, a movement to encourage kids to help change the world. Now Leo wanted to learn more about how to help the wetlands. He started a petition to raise awareness of the bill and the wetlands.
The bill passed the Indiana Senate by a 29-19 vote in early February and is now before the Indiana House.3
Leo and his mom talked to Treehugger via email about his involvement with the wetlands and his passion for the planet. This is a slightly edited excerpt from that conversation.