Conservation Kid: Real Life SuperHero

Cash Daniels is a 10-year-old real life superhero. 

Since he was eight years old, Daniels has had a passion for conserving our rivers and oceans. 

It all started on a family vacation. He and his brother, Colt, found a straw on the beach and decided to make a game out of all of the trash they found. 

At that moment, Daniels started to think about how much trash he found and how it affected the environment. He began studying and learning more about the environment and what conversation is. 

“The more I learned, the more I wanted to know more,” Daniels said. 

His main focus is cleaning up the rivers in Chattanooga. According to Daniels, all of our rivers lead to the ocean, and 80% of the trash from the ocean comes from rivers. 

Daniels has never allowed his age to hold him back. In the last few years he has written, illustrated and published a book, he has donated a thousand dollars to a charity to help clean up the ocean, and he has led dozens of river cleanups.

His book, “One Small Piece,” took about three months to put together. His idea behind the project is that picking up “one small piece” of trash makes a difference. 

Through his work cleaning up the rivers, he has gotten the attention of many people in the media and in the community. Other than meeting the Mayor recently and being interviewed for the local news, Daniels has befriended Nikki Eisenmenger, a senior aquarist at the Chattanooga Aquarium who works mainly at the offsite building. 

The pair met through a lecture at the aquarium. 

“He had an arapaima on his shirt,” Eisenmenger said, “No one really knows what they are.”

Eisenmenger had recently returned from a trip studying arapaimas, and she was shocked to see one on his shirt. Since that encounter, they have became friends. Daniels often spends time with Eisenmenger at the offsite Aquarium Care Facility. 

Other than Eisenmenger and local news stations, Daniels has captured the attention of people on a larger scale, including Kelly Clarkson. 

Last fall, Daniels was invited and was a guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. 

Although he and his mother, Erin Daniels, describe the experience as being very short, he was able to meet his favorite superhero, Aquaman. Daniels was overjoyed meeting his hero; however, he said his superpower would be cleaning up the rivers, and his name would be Conservation Kid. This 10-year-old Chattanoogan has already made his superhero dreams a reality.

To contact Cash and Erin Daniels visit his instagram page @ConservationKid or email him at theconservationkid@gmail.com


Meet the Storytellers:

Amanda Morgan Fann

Amanda Morgan Fann is a photographer, graphic designer and writer, pursuing degrees in Communication and English at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is the Assistant Photo Editor and a staff writer for the University Echo. Her passion lies in storytelling and her community as she constantly works at being the voice for people who may not feel they have one. Amanda has a love for performing and dances on UTC’s hip hop majorette team, The Ladies of G.O.L.D. If you have a story you wish to share or want to know more about Amanda, email her at srn924@mocs.utc.edu.

Emily LaRocque

Emily LaRocque is a senior studying communication at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga; she hopes to use her degree to become an Event Planner. She likes creating lasting memories for people while building a strong community. As a natural born planner, she has planned vacations, weddings, concerts, and much more. On her off days, you can find her drinking a hot cup of coffee listening to her favorite albums on vinyl.

Alyssa B. Martin

Alyssa B. Martin is a Senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga pursuing a degree in Communication with a Minor in Spanish. She is the Social Media and Distribution Manager for the University Echo, and she has also interned at the Trenton Daily News / Dade County Progress as a journalist. Martin is most passionate about people and giving a voice to those who may not have one through journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, reading, playing the guitar, writing, taking photos and working puzzles. 

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