Youth engagement and leadership development is one of The Ocean Project’s top priorities. In addition to social media outreach (e.g. World Oceans Day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest), we also have helped develop two collaborative youth leadership groups, Sea Youth Rise Up and the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, both of which were launched in the spring of 2016.
Youth make up nearly one-half of the world’s population. By supporting youth leadership development, we are supporting the leaders of not only the future, but also right now! Youth advocacy is needed for making conservation successful for the long-term. Working with our youth partners, including universities, youth networks, aquariums and zoos around the world, and many others, we are building a global youth alliance. We are promoting campaigns that young people have chosen to address, partnering across generations to fight carbon pollution, habitat degradation, overfishing, plastics pollution, and related issues and advocating for sustainable actions and government policies that result in healthier oceans and a more sustainable society.
The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council is helping us grow the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on June 8th and creating opportunities for ocean conservation throughout the year. Council members are instrumental in shaping the future of World Oceans Day with their fresh ideas and unique perspectives. Advisory Council members gain valuable learning experiences, make connections with other young leaders, and put their skills, talents, and networking skills to use, helping generate more youth to get actively involved in opportunities for ocean conservation. For more information, check out the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council.
The Sea Youth Rise Up campaign was launched for World Oceans Day 2016 by The Ocean Project, Big Blue & You, and the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit. It was designed as a platform for young people to speak for our ocean, sharing the important work of young conservation leaders and inspiring a global audience of youth to understand the important leadership role they play in protecting the ocean, and making sure decision-makers fully recognize the importance of involving youth throughout the process of creating a better future. With World Oceans Day as their rallying point, the Sea Youth Rise Up campaign has brought seven young ocean conservationists each year from a number of countries (including the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, Indonesia, Portugal, and Trinidad and Tobago) to New York City and Washington D.C. for a few days, allowing these incredible ocean advocates to share their message with world leaders at the United Nations and the White House, and with their peers around our blue planet. Check out the Sea Youth Rise Up blog post to learn more, or visit the Sea Youth Rise Up website. Stay tuned for Sea Youth Rise Up 2018!