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State Honoree

Juan Ramirez

Puerto Rico

Juan Ramirez, 13, of Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan, Puerto Rico, took scuba-diving lessons to help clean up the ocean floor and keep the sea free of garbage that can harm both people and marine life. After stepping on a piece of glass in the ocean and sustaining a severe injury that required surgery, Juan wanted to do whatever he could to keep other people safe in the ocean. "I don't want anyone to get hurt and I don't want to see the fish die because of a polluted environment," he said. When he heard of a scuba instructor who uses his skill to clean
up the ocean, Juan took lessons and became licensed. Since then, he has participated in five clean-up dives and has freed fish entangled in garbage. "You don't need to be able to scuba dive in order to help the environment," Juan said.