The ocean is a beautiful part of the Earth and it is an important one. With 71% of its surface being covered by water, there is no wonder that we should take measures to protect the ocean. Don’t know where to start? You’re in luck: Here are a few ocean sustainability initiatives that you can connect with.
Founded in 2017, ThinkOcean is a large-scale initiative whose purpose is to bring awareness of ocean sustainability to youth. It is a community that unites various colleges and high schools from around the world to maintain projects surrounding oceanic and environmental awareness. There are currently chapters in 15 different countries.
- Big Blue & You
Big Blue & You is an organization founded and run by women of color, and it values female empowerment while at the same time advocating for ocean sustainability. They host a yearly festival called “Art by the Sea”, and they helped establish a youth leadership program called “Sea Youth Rise Up” in 2016. The organization also launched an online shopping guide that sells ocean-friendly products, whose proceeds support their efforts to educate the youth about ocean conservation.
- Youth Ocean Conservation Summit
The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) is an annual conference that equips young leaders with the resources, knowledge, and funds needed to help them launch their own ocean conservation projects. Since its launch in 2011, it has taken place in Mote Marine Laboratory, up until last year, when they turned virtual. Other ways to get involved include its satellite summits and YOCS Expeditions. Since 2012, young people attending Youth Ocean Conservation Summits have been given over 165 grants totaling over $27,300 to fund ocean conservation projects.
- Inland Ocean Coalition
Initiated by Vicki Nichols Goldstein in Boulder, Colorado in 2011, the Inland Ocean Coalition serves to empower inland communities like Colorado to protect the ocean through educational programs and community projects. The chapters of the Inland Ocean Coalition have since expanded to include Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, Utah, Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Great Lakes in Michigan, Illinois, Utah, Buffalo, NY, Prairie in Manitoba, Canada, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and the University of Colorado Boulder. The Inland Ocean Coalition organized several campaigns, including “Suck the Straws Out” and the Reel-Safe Pledge.
No matter how much or how little you contributed to the ocean conservation effort, it never hurts to take a step forward and make a difference. These initiatives are just a few starters, but there are so many more out there that might be the right fit for you. I hope this article has given you some insight into the importance of ocean sustainability, and I hope you can consider supporting one of these initiatives someday.