Youth Testimonials

The Ocean Project catalyzes collective action for a healthy ocean and a stable climate, working in collaboration with youth leaders and a wide range of organizations. We support young people by developing environmental literacy, engagement, and leadership training programs, activities, campaigns, and opportunities to take community action and engage with decision makers. Many (e.g., World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council) have directly shared their stories and messages for stronger conservation policies with national and world leaders and decisionmakers, including at the United Nations, global conferences, U.S. Congress and the White House, with corporate leaders, the media, and with their peers around our blue planet.

Quotes from youth participants from inland and coastal areas across the United States and around the world:

"I have learned some of the most valuable information I feel like I ever have. This [youth advocacy training] program really solidified my passion over ocean conservation, and pushed me to really understand the “why” in my ideas. I have never been so grateful for an opportunity like this, with the most amazing people. These people were able to indirectly push me for the better, make me personally reflect, and most importantly really helped me to express my ideas and get my word out to my peers."  - Canton, 15

"This youth advocacy training session series is something that anyone older than 10 can understand. It really puts into perspective how big of issues we are facing, and at the same time, actually motivates and gives you what you need to be a part of the change we need." - Madison, 14

"Getting involved with your local officials has a bigger impact than you think. I feel very inspired to contact my representatives." - Anne,  18

"The most valuable information I learned during this session was about the incredible impact that can be made by young people, like the 14-year-old kid who was able to communicate their ideas on ocean conservation to the President of the United States and bring about meaningful change for the preservation of a reef. It was a powerful reminder that no matter how young or old you are, you have the potential to make a real difference in the world." -  Christopher, 15

"I think that the most valuable information I learned from the session is on all the things that I can do to improve the environment with my state and community, especially when it comes to government. Previously, I always had a distaste for government in a way. However, this talk has shown me that the government is not always bad but a thing that can be used to enact change and help our community." - Cheyenne, 18

"The most valuable information that I learned is that sometimes when planning an advocacy project, people will tell you no, and that's okay and doesn't mean you should give up." - Avery, 16

"As a student delegate to Sea Youth Rise Up, I've learned so much on this trip, from making new friends from across the country that I never thought I would meet to understanding the inside scoop of politics and the decisions that go behind drastic changes and implements into the world of environmentalism and sustainability. Targeting our ocean specifically during Capitol Hill Ocean Week broadened my concept of how much we need to improve upon and the call for younger generations of ocean advocates to take the role in making a stand for what they believe in. I spent these 5 days with many incredible people and it even opened doors to new career possibilities." - Alejandro, 15

"I had an incredible time connecting with people from across the country and uniting over a shared love for the ocean. I learned and laughed so much during this trip and I'll cherish the knowledge and memories I made for years to come. - Katherine, 20 (see also her blog post on ocean justice)

"While the [Seattle-wide] campaign is still just in its infancy, I have already seen it grow from 20 young volunteers crammed in a back room at the Seattle Aquarium brainstorming ideas with The Ocean Project mentors to nearly 10 groups of almost as many volunteers working at simultaneously on different projects to support the same vision and collaborating on major ideas. This campaign has allowed my leadership to flourish and has allowed me to feel like I’m making a difference in an area I am passionate about. Saving the world has always been my life goal, and this project has given me the chance to start on that path. " - Anja (high school youth volunteer for “Puget Sound: We Love You” with Seattle Aquarium and now with a Ph.D. a plastic policy expert at Ocean Conservancy)


* Special thanks to our Supporters and especially the following whose collective and long-term support has allowed us to grow the reach and impact of our super collaborative global youth initiative and network:

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation

Johnson Ohana Foundation

Thank you!