Meet Our New Director of Youth Initiatives, Rachael Coccia!

The Ocean Project to happy to announce the hiring of our newest team member, Rachael Coccia. As the Director of Youth Initiatives, Rachael will coordinate the Youth Advisory Council for World Oceans Day and introduce year-round opportunities for youth engagement. This includes collaborating with key partners to develop the Youth for the Ocean (Y4O) initiative.

Having always been an ocean lover, Rachael found her niche as the Host and Associate Producer of the educational children’s show, Aqua Kids. This experience combined her skill for communicating science with her passion for marine conservation. By traveling to diverse ecosystems and speaking with lead scientists, Rachael was able to educate and inspire young people across the country to restore and protect marine and aquatic environments. This sent her on a path to learn more about the challenges facing our ocean and discover ways to get people actively engaged in the solutions.

By working with organizations including Save the Sound, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, and the Surfrider Foundation, Rachael developed an ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences on topics ranging from plastic pollution, habitat restoration, nutrient pollution, species preservation, and climate change.

“Plastic pollution is a major focus of mine. It is such a universal problem that everyone in the world can relate to. Our severe over-use and mismanagement of plastic is an easy concept to understand, and the solutions are simple and measurable. That’s why I’d like to introduce Y4O around this topic.”  

Learn more about Rachael’s experience and view some of her recent work by visiting her website.

Being a true believer that youth are the leaders of today, Rachael is thrilled to lead the Y4O initiative for The Ocean Project. She is excited to connect dedicated young people from around the world and strengthen their efforts to create a sustainable future for our ocean.

“My goal is to empower youth to become leaders within their communities and beyond. They already have a deep understanding of the problems and realize the urgent need to find solutions. Young people know how to best approach these issues in a way that will inspire action within their community – they just need the right tools, resources, and network to support their efforts.”

Rachael received an MA in Marine Conservation and Policy from Stony Brook University and BS in Public Relations from Fredonia State University. She feels most at peace when scuba diving and jumps at any chance to be in or on the water. Her other interests include hiking, exploring nearby towns and cities, and traveling.