Save the Shark Tooth Fairy Project

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South Carolina is the only state left that police's people that hunt for fossil shark teeth. The South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology used an outdated law called the Antiquities Act of 1991 to unethical shut down the Shark Tooth Fairy Project of Kids in South Carolina. I am asking the Governor of South Carolina the review the actions of the SCIAA and their role in preserving our natural history. The SCIAA has many good functions but protecting shark teeth isn't one of them. A shark will lose 20,000 teeth in its lifetime. Take that number times billions of sharks over millions of years and it is easy to see that shark teeth are a resource that we will never run out of. The SCIAA's latest interpretation of law has made it illegal in South Carolina for a person to pick up shark teeth at low tide. Over the past two years the SCIAA has used manpower and tax dollars to crack down on people that hunting for shark teeth. Hunting for shark teeth has been a tradition for so many families in South Carolina for many years. Now people are being sighted for doing just that. I am asking that the law be changed so that anyone can enjoy hunting for shark teeth without harassment from the SCIAA. Below is a post I made on Facebook about my experience with the SCIAA and about how an event for kids was shut down maliciously by members of the SCIAA that obviously had nothing better to do with the tax dollars we give them. 

<<<<From 2013 to 2015 I would get up almost everyday and SCUBA for shark teeth here in South Carolina. I quickly became bord with collecting them so one day I had an awesome idea. I wanted to take these shark teeth and hide them on beaches for kids to find and collect photos of kids finding them insteaded. I got many pictures of kids holding Shark Teeth that were prehistoric and with amazing educational value. Megalodons up to 20 million years old or Angustidens up to 32 million. I still remember the looks on kids faces when I told them the age of their finds at my free kids hunts. You could see the gears turning in there little heads trying to fathom millions of years of history. The first Port Royal Sands Beach Free Kids Shark Tooth and Fossil Hunt started out small but I kept doing them a few months apart and within a year thousands of kids started showing up. The kids got to keep everything they found. They would take them to school and show their friends and teachers. I started getting contacted by schools and summer camps wanting me to teach the kids about the wonderful ancient world we live in. I also did private Special Needs Kids Hunts. In between kids hunts I would do contests on Facebook with shark tooth prizes for the kids. Like the Shark Art Contest or the Funny Fish Face Fossil Photo Contest. I never charged any money to do this either. I also mailed shark teeth for free to kids with cancer or in hospitals. Many of those kids are no longer with us now but I amazed them and gave them a smile. I just loved doing something great for kids. I got them off of those XBox's and Sony PlayStation's and got them outside in nature. Doing this made me feel good inside. At one of my early kids hunts I was given the name "Shark Tooth Fairy" by one of the parents. A news paper reporter overheard it and the next day on the front page of the paper it read, "Shark Tooth Fairy Hides Treasures on Sands Beach". I would have chosen a different name for myself but after a while it grew on me. I loved being the Shark Tooth Fairy and started calling what I did the Shark Tooth Fairy Project. It was the best thing I ever did in my life but in the end I regretted it. If I had the chance to do it over though I would have done it again. It gave me a happiness that a person could only hope to have in a life time. Unfortunately when you try to do something really good it attracts bad people's attention. They came down on me at every angle. At first I would get hate mail from fossil dealers that thought I was ruining the value of shark teeth by giving them to kids for free. I got my anchor rope cutt on my boat while I was under water diving and I got the tires on my truck slashed the morning of a planned kids hunt by other fossil divers but I ignored that and pressed on. After the kids hunts became big the second thing was the City of Port Royal made me pay the Port Royal Police for "security and tracic control" but I did it. This cost was around $1000. Then I started charging the adults $5 admission to pay for it but the kids always got in for free. That cost me another $300 for a city peddlers license to charge the adults but I paid it. Then after that the city was off my back because they got thier money. Then came the State in the form of The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA). I was hassled every quarter by them over fossil reports on shark teeth. Shark Teeth that one of there own people, Jim Knight, said, "Shark Teeth have no further scientific value." but I gave them fossil reports as requird by the Antiquities Act of 1991. In the end I was banned for life from diving for Shark Teeth in South Carolina because I sold tickets to the adults that came to my kids hunts. The SCIAA said that was commercial use of my fossil license and that I broke the law. If you have cared enough to read this far you now see why there will be no more kids hunts. I didn't give up without a fight. I went to my State Representative Shannon Smith Erickson. She promised to go to our Capitol of Columbia SC and change the outdated law so the kids hunts could continue. Then one morning I got a message from her saying she couldn't help me. It was obvious by her 180 and her words that she was paid off or pressured not to help me. I then made a petition to the Governer Nikki Haley that had a few thousands signatures but I never got a response. After that I gave up. Fighting was hurting my health and was giving me anxiety attacks. It is just the dog eat dog world we live in. So if you are seeing this for the first time and you have kids I am sorry but according to Jim Spirek, Nate Fulmer, and Jessica Irwin with the SCIAA it is now illegal for you or your kids to pick up shark teeth at low tide in South Carolina without a fossil license. It is their new interpretation of the law. They change it as they go. I can also say there will never be another Port Sand Beach Free Kids Shark Tooth and Fossil Hunt. I tried to talk other divers in South Carolina into being the next Shark Tooth Fairy but they are all too scared that they too will be banned for life from diving from shark teeth by the corrupt SCIAA. The malicious ruling by the SCIAA and my corrupt State Representative that has ended the kids hunts broke my heart and my spirit. All that is left of the Shark Tooth Fairy Project are these photos and I will treasure them for the rest of my life.

Your Friend,
Mike Harris
The Shark Tooth Fairy>>>>

Hopefully this message meets the right ears and a change can be made. The SCIAA should focus on the job that we originally empowered them to do which is to preserve our natural history. Jim Knight who is now retired from the SCIAA stated that Shark Teeth have no scientific value but the younger generation of SCIAA personal have lost focus there true functions for South Carolina. I do believe we need them to record and document artifacts and other fossils but there is no benifet for the people of South Carolina in policing shark teeth. There is no new scientific value in shark teeth but the educational value for Kids is fabulous. Shark teeth should be removed from the Antiquities Act of 1991 entirely so that a long living tradition for kids and their families can continue immediately. Huge THANKS for signing this call to action. 

To see photos and read more about the Shark Tooth Fairy Project hit this link...

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=866071853570013&id=258496107660927



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