Youth Leadership for Our Ocean
Youth engagement and leadership development is one of The Ocean Project’s top priorities. Based on comprehensive research that underscores the importance of engaging younger generations in conservation, our collaborative youth initiative helps develop a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency for our blue planet.
This initiative, which we started to develop in 2009, seeks to support our network of partners to accelerate youth engagement and leadership. We focus on collaboration with our zoo, aquarium, and museum partners along with universities and many other youth-serving groups worldwide.
Youth make up nearly one-half of the world’s population. By supporting youth leadership development, we are empowering the leaders of not only the future, but right now! Youth engagement and advocacy is needed to make conservation successful for the long-term. Working with the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council and almost 4,000 young people in our growing global youth network, we are collaboratively helping to build a youth movement for action. We're actively promoting campaigns that young people have chosen to address - to fight carbon pollution, habitat degradation, overfishing, plastic pollution, and related issues.
The Ocean Project helps young people connect and work together, and we provide them with the platforms and opportunities to advocate for sustainable actions, including corporate and government policies, that result in a healthier ocean and more sustainable society. Two key ways we're doing so are included below and for the most recent updates please visit our news/blog.
World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council
The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council helps grow the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on 8 June and creates 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. They gain valuable learning experiences and make connections with other young leaders. From developing youth-led projects to attending conferences around the world, Council members put their skills, talents, and networking abilities to use - inspiring more youth to get actively involved in opportunities for ocean conservation. The Council consists of 25 young people representing 20 different countries.
Sea Youth Rise Up
Sea Youth Rise Up connects youth from within and beyond our network - empowering them to become ocean champions and providing them with opportunities to connect with policymakers, corporate, and other social leaders. Launched for World Oceans Day 2016 by The Ocean Project, Big Blue & You, and the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, Sea Youth Rise Up was designed as a platform for young people to speak for our ocean. It provides an opportunity to share the important work of young conservation leaders while inspiring a global audience of youth to understand the important leadership role they play in protecting the ocean. It also ensures 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 brings together seven young ocean conservationists each year from a number of countries to Washington D.C. and New York City. 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, and with their peers around our blue planet. Click here for more on Sea Youth Rise Up 2019 (mini-doc coming soon) and look for the call to youth for applications in April for the 2020 campaign!