Collaborative Youth Leadership for Our Blue Planet

Young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow, and supporting youth leadership and advocacy in collaboration with youth-led and youth-serving organizations is a top priority of The Ocean Project. We are committed to inclusivity and providing opportunities for all, radically collaborating with others around the world to grow a movement for a more equitable and sustainable society and a healthy ocean that we all need to survive and thrive, no matter where we live. 

We have intentionally worked behind-the-scenes since 2009 to support youth leaders and youth-serving organizations and collaboratively grow a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency for our blue planet. Our work is based on comprehensive research that underscores the importance of engaging younger generations in conservation

To view the current issue of Rising Blue Network Newsletter, click here! The newsletter directly reaches 6,300 youth leaders and youth-oriented organizations in 140 countries. See previous issues: May, April, March, February, January 2021, December 2020.

Spotlight on Youth Organizations around the World

Click on each image to learn more!

If you are involved with an organization interested in joining the fast-growing Rising Blue Network, click here. This effort is powered by the collective action of all, is totally free, and is committed to inclusivity and radical collaboration...for our shared blue planet!

World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council

The Ocean Project has been globally coordinating World Ocean Day since 2002 as a way to raise the profile of the importance of the ocean for everyone on our blue planet and how we can all help no matter where we live. One ocean, one climate, one future - together!

With their fresh ideas and unique and diverse perspectives, Council members are instrumental in shaping World Ocean Day, growing its reach and impact in June and advocating for ocean conservation throughout the year. Council members gain valuable experience and make life-long connections with other leaders. From developing youth-led projects to actively participating in conferences around the world, Council members put their skills, talents, and networking abilities to use - inspiring both youth to get actively involved and adults to make the right decisions.

The Council currently consists of 25 young people representing 22 countries.

The next call for applications to join the Council will go out in late June 2021. If you're on the youth email list to get monthly updates, you'll be receiving a notice at that time.

Rise Up! Youth Webinar Series

Launched in early 2020, this youth-led monthly webinar series connects young people, including those associated with youth groups, schools, aquariums, zoos, and more with a global online community of change makers focused on protecting our shared blue planet – together!  By youth and for youth, each webinar highlights what youth are doing to safeguard the ocean, protect the climate, and address other related environmental issues, and provide opportunities for how others can get involved.

Click here to register for future Rise Up! Youth Webinars
Watch previous episodes here!

Most Recent Episode:

Episode 12: Coalition Building for Ocean + Climate Action

Join Founder and President of ThinkOcean, Ben May, as he discusses the importance of collaboration in the ocean conservation movement and how you can start to build your change making network TODAY!


The first-ever Youth-a-thon was held in June 2020. A 24-hour livestream event, this unique event allowed young people around the world the opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts and environmental issues, connect with a global community of diverse change makers, and join the movement to take action to protect our shared ocean, climate, and blue planet.

Over the course of 24 hours, there were 24 one-hour sessions with 24 interrelated topics on conservation, art, environmental justice, plastic pollution, creative writing, storytelling, climate change, marine biology, activism, and more, each with a call to action! Throughout the 24 hours, youth were provided opportunities to help with the World Ocean Day annual Conservation Action Focus to grow the global movement to protect 30% of our land, waters, and ocean (30x30) and push national and world leaders to take action now!

Youth-a-thon 2020 was hosted by Andrew Brennen, National Geographic Explorer, Baylee Ritter, Youth Advisor with The Ocean Project, and Laura Johnson, Sea Youth Rise Up 2016 delegate.

Youth-a-thon 2021 coming June 5 and 6!

Sign up here to register early and receive updates for Youth-a-thon.

Check out some of the previous Youth-a-thon videos!

Click here to view the full list of 2020 videos.

Sea Youth Rise Up

Sea Youth Rise Up supports diverse youth to become ocean champions and provides them with opportunities to connect with policymakers. Collaboratively developed by The Ocean Project, Big Blue & You, and the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, the Sea Youth Rise Up campaign currently focuses primarily on the United States and advocating for conservation policy. The campaign provides important leadership opportunities for youth and ensures that decision-makers fully recognize the importance of involving diverse young people throughout the process of creating a better future. We provide training and support these incredible ocean advocates to share their message with world leaders at the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, the White House, corporate leaders, and with their peers around our blue planet. 

Thank you to our Supporters

Special thanks to our supporters, including the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation. Funding has also been provided by an Anonymous Donor and the Johnson Ohana Foundation, founded by Kim and Jack Johnson to support environmental, art, and music education.

Your collective and long-term support allows us to continually grow the reach and impact of our collaborative youth initiative and network. Thank you!