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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Saving the Reef, One Cookie at a Time

By Shelby Tuttle


Two Florida Girl Scouts, Olivia Galvan and Alejandra Jiménez, are proving that delicious treats can have a powerful impact. These eco-champions are using their cookie-selling skills for a cause far greater than just deliciousness – saving coral reefs!


Learning About Coral Crisis

Olivia and Alejandra are youth ambassadors with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF). Through their work with the CRF, they discovered the critical role coral reefs play in our planet’s health. From shielding our coasts from storms to providing a colorful underwater city for countless sea creatures, coral reefs face a significant threat of disappearing.

“Our generation is basically the generation in between the destruction of coral or the liveliness of coral, so it’s up to us to either destroy coral or help coral, and I choose to help coral,” said Olivia Galvan.

 

Cookies with a Coral Twist

Determined to make a difference, Olivia and Alejandra decided to get baking! They teamed up with chef Ignacia Valdes Novik, who introduced them to the wonders of spirulina. This vibrant blue superfood algae is not only a natural colorant, but also packed with nutrients.

Together, they created a dazzling blue cookie shaped like coral and topped it with a touch of sea-salt caramel. 

 

Spreading the Word, One Bite at a Time

Olivia and Alejandra didn’t stop at just baking. They presented their innovative cookie concept to the leadership at the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. CEO Chelsea Wilkerson was impressed by their passion and creativity.

“This is a generation of girls that has no choice but to solve the climate crisis, and if they need to use something like the Girl Scout cookies or any kind of cookie to create awareness, excitement, and knowledge around the importance of the coral reef, then I say let’s do it,” she said.

The online environmental documentary series “Wormhole TV” will feature the girls’ project in an upcoming episode, showcasing their efforts to a wider audience. 

 

A Sweeter Future for Coral Reefs?

While a national “Coral Reef Cookie” isn’t on the horizon just yet, the girls remain optimistic. Alejandra says, I hope they’ll say, ‘Oh, maybe one day we’ll turn these cookies into a Girl Scout cookie.’”

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