Journey to World Oceans Day!
By: Lindsy Myers
My last day in Seattle before boarding a plane to the East Coast to meet with my peers from the Sea Youth Rise Up delegation, was spent doing the two things I love most about Sunday's: being on the water and doing my shark research. Just like the many other downtown residents, I rode my bicycle down the waterfront and to my favorite hidden beach. I had intended on spending about an hour there just appreciating the view and the complimentary sound of waves crashing into my feet, however, when I arrived there was work to be done!
There was a surprising amount of trash washed up on the beach that I immediately collected and delivered directly to the bin. It is problems like this that the Sea Youth Rise Up delegation is aiming to make solvable. Anyone can pick up trash on the beach; it is the confidence to take the first step that youth and adult volunteers need, to delve into the endless possibilities of ocean/ climate conservation. This next week will be focused on collaborating on ideas about volunteering and connecting an entire community of people dedicated to climate and ocean advocacy, and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of it.
By: Ben May
I am passionate about helping the environment, so the opportunity to share my ideas through the Sea Youth Rise Up Campaign is exhilarating! The largest thing I have learned over the years is that it is much easier to say something rather than do it. For example, if we do not buy unsustainable products, we are promoting an environmentally friendly economy. When I was in middle school, I told everyone I would stop eating all unsustainable seafood; but, this turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. Shrimp used to be one of my favorite foods, yet it is the third most unsustainable major fishery in the United States. Tuna is the foundation of most sushi-loving people, like me, but it is also an extremely unsustainable industry. Through a lot of self control, I was able to defeat the urges to chow down on some of my former favorite foods, and I am proud to say I have not eaten shrimp in five years. The idea of Sea Youth Rise Up is awesome. Impassioning youth is the key to protecting the world’s oceans for years to come, but saying that it will happen and making it happen are two dissimilar concepts. I expect that the other six delegates and I will be confronted with a lot of work in the next week, but I am excited to face it and truly act on the statement: together, we can make a difference.
By: Laura Johnson
The ocean is my passion. I eat, sleep, and breathe ocean conservation, and I have loved it since before I can remember. When I realized that not everyone loved the ocean as much as I did, I knew I wanted to spread my passion with the world. The Sea Youth Rise Up program is by far the most incredible I've had to do this.
I've been involved with the Big Blue & You for two years, and I've worn many different hats during that time. It's just fun. I love working with like-minded people. Our office is the beach (literally). When I found out about this program, I knew it was for me. I've wanted to reach as many people as possible with the message of ocean conservation, and I figure this is the best way for me to do that.
I am so BEYOND excited to be a part of the inaugural team for SYRup. I'm sure that because everyone on the team has such similar interests that we will all get along really well, and I'm excited to meet everyone. It's really an honor to be considered a "youth leader" for ocean conservation. Having represented the Big Blue & You at the Blue Vision Summit last year in Washington, DC, I know that this will also be quite a humbling experience. Meeting some of the most influential people in the world drive you to really want to make an even bigger difference. I'm sure we'll all be left thinking, "What's next? What more can we do to save our world's oceans?"
By: Gabriella Schauber
Sea Youth Rise Up is officially 4 days away! As the countdown continues, I grow increasingly excited and honored to represent the Vancouver Aquarium as part of the Sea Youth Rise Up delegation in NY and DC!
Here’s a little bit about me! I’m currently a 4th year student at the University of British Columbia majoring in applied animal biology. Following my undergraduate, I plan to pursue a Law Degree, with the intention of pursuing a career in Animal Law. My passion for the oceans stemmed from my love of marine animals. As a child, I would spend time at the beach, and many hours at the Vancouver Aquarium in awe of its marine life. As I grew up, my passion led me to become increasingly involved as a volunteer and/or staff with animal focused organizations such as vet clinics and the Vancouver Aquarium.
This past year, I successfully completed a self-directed supervised undergraduate essay on ‘public opinion as a motivator for change in animal welfare legislation’, and fell in love with animal welfare policy. Before this year, I always knew I wanted to impact the lives of animals in one form or another, and after years of thinking I would be a vet or marine biologist, I had discovered my niche – working to impact animal welfare policy through Law.
I believe that the future health of our oceans and its marine inhabitants depend heavily on the decisions made and leadership demonstrated by youth! The Sea Youth Rise Up campaign as an initiative that will bring youth passionate about our oceans together to not only raise awareness about the issues facing our oceans, but suggest tangible achievable youth driven solutions. I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of this campaign!
The opportunity to take part in youth led and driven discussions on ocean conservation at this scale is once in a lifetime. I am most looking forward to meeting in person and collaborating with the other 6 amazing delegates in developing youth driven solutions to the issues facing our oceans and participating in constructive discussions with US ocean policy makers on ways to address current issues threatening the health of our oceans.
I can’t wait to arrive in NY and get started!