Youth Leadership for Our Blue Planet

Youth engagement and leadership development is a top priority of The Ocean Project.

This collaborative initiative, which we started to develop in 2009 -- based on years of comprehensive research that underscores the importance of engaging younger generations in conservation -- helps develop a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency for our blue planet.

We support youth directly and our network of partners to accelerate youth engagement and leadership, with a special 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 and sustainability successful for the long-term. Working with the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council and 5,000+ young people in our growing global youth network, we are collaboratively helping to build a youth movement for action, connecting youth and providing them with the platforms and opportunities to advocate, together, including for better corporate and government policies that result in a more sustainable society and a healthy blue planet.

And we're actively promoting campaigns that young people have chosen to address in interconnected ways: to fight carbon pollution and create a clean energy future; prevent habitat degradation and strongly protect 30% of our lands and ocean by 2030; stop overfishing and create sustainable science-based fisheries; eliminate plastic pollution from the environment and develop systemic solutions to these issues; and related issues.

A few of the 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 participating in conferences around the world, Council members put their skills, talents, and networking abilities to use - inspiring more youth to get actively involved. The Council currently consists of 25 young people representing 22 countries. Call for applications for new Council members goes out in late summer. Click here to get on the email list.


Rise Up! Youth Webinar

This recently launched and exciting youth-led monthly webinar connects youth, including those associated with youth groups, schools, aquariums, zoos, and museums, and more with a global online community of change makers focused on protecting our shared blue planet – together! Register to watch here and watch the latest episodes here 



Youth-a-thon was 24-hour livestream event on June 20 and 21 that allowed young people around the world the opportunity to: 

Learn more about conservation efforts and environmental topics of interest 

Connect with a global community of young change makers 

Join the movement to take action to protect our shared ocean, climate, and blue planet

Throughout the 24 hours, there were 24 sessions with 24 different (but interrelated) topics on conservation, art, environmental justice, plastic pollution, creative writing, storytelling, climate change, marine biology, activism, and more! 

Register to get updates on the release of all 24 hours and watch the latest episodes here 


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 young ocean conservationists each year from a number of countries. 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.


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