As we gear up for the 2023 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on September 16th, we wanted to share with you some of the amazing things our attendees have gone on to do with the support of the Summit. Meet the amazing individuals who designed projects that earned grants from the Summit last year - Hannah, Lily, Kayla, Dennis, Cheyenne, Dave, Patricia, Ella Grace, Steve, Leila, Olivia, and Amani!
Hannah Mathenge - Save the Sea Turtles Ecosystem
Hannah’s project, Save the Sea Turtles Ecosystem, seeks to conduct beach cleanups in turtle nesting grounds along the Msambweni beaches on the coast of Kenya. The project also aims to alter the local community’s mindset from a culture of “linear use” to one of reducing, reusing, recycling, and upcycling marine litter. Save the Sea Turtles Ecosystem looks to empower the community by creating revenue around upcycled marine litter products as well as promoting conservation of their local ecosystem.
Lily Free - Do Green & Clean
Lily’s project is focused on hosting themed local beach cleanups. Lily will plan, host, and incentivize the cleanups by offering prizes, and market the cleanups to the surrounding community.
Kayla Fowler - Emma and Wellie: Plastic? Not so Fintastic!
Emma and Wellie is a children’s book written by Kayla Fowler on the dangers of plastic pollution in the ocean. Presented in a way that is both fun and engaging for young readers, Kayla hopes that the story of Emma the turtle and Wellie the dolphin will encourage children to become ocean stewards, no matter how far they live from the ocean. The book is currently being illustrated, and Kayla is excited to showcase the finished product soon!
Dennis Wambugu - Eco Mashinani Cleanup
Through his project, the Eco Mashinani Cleanup, Dennis is working to clean plastic pollution and debris from the sands of Mombasa Beach in Kenya. So far, his cleanup has been successful and may expand to other beaches in the future!
Cheyenne Davis - Zoo Teen Beach Bucket Project
Cheyenne has partnered with the Beach Bucket Foundation to bring specially-designed trash receptacles to her local beach. These receptacles allow the entire community to participate in cleaning up the beach whenever they visit.
Dave Mathenge - Bahari Power
Dave’s project is focused on collecting cigarettes, plastic bottles, and other debris from his local beaches. The project is targeted towards other youth to create awareness on the importance of maintaining and conserving beaches and the ocean.
Patricia Cummings - Saving Sea Turtles
Saving Sea Turtles, led by Patricia Cummings, is working to prevent local turtle strandings as well as to educate students on the dangers and reasons behind strandings. Students participate in a brief presentation and then assist in hands-on rescue efforts by walking to local beaches and searching for any stranded turtles. If and when stranded turtles are located, students assist with data collection and preparing the turtles for transport to the New England Aquarium in Massachusetts.
Ella Grace Galaski-Rossen - Chatting with Ella to Save the Ocean
Ella’s project is focused on outreach about ocean conservation to elementary school children. During presentations, Ella explains the crisis our oceans are facing, as well as educating children on how they can make a difference at home and encouraging them to get involved in local cleanup efforts.
Steve Misati - Mangrove Eco-Restoration Project
The Mangrove Eco-Restoration Project, created by Steve Misati, is working to bring awareness and training on conservation initiatives to local communities by utilizing a participatory and community-based approach. The project hopes to plant 2500 mangrove trees to assist in the recovery and strengthening of marine ecosystems in Mombasa, Kenya.
Leila Harb - Cooking with Crabs
Leila’s project is focused on raising awareness about the problems surrounding the invasive Green Crabs. By showing families how to cook Green Crabs, the project helps show the community how they can be part of the solution to the problem this invasive species causes. The project aims to develop easy and fun recipes, eventually compiling them into cookbooks!
Olivia Almond - Pounds to Prizes
Pounds to Prizes, created by Olivia Almond, will involve school students in ocean conservation by sending groups of middle schoolers to teach fifth grade classes on how to protect their local beaches. The project also encourages students to participate in cleanups by offering prizes based on the number of pounds they bring in.
Amani Agzenay - Wind Can
With their project, Wind Can, Amani aims to create a design for boat trash cans that will trap the trash inside so it does not contribute to marine pollution. Wind Can will work with students to come up with designs, later choosing the best designs and turning them into prototypes to be tested.
Congratulations and kudos to our 2023 YOCS grant recipients! We are so proud of our grant recipients every year and are continually amazed by their tenacity and passion for ocean conservation. If you want a chance to start your own project to promote ocean conservation, be sure to register for our 2023 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, coming to Mote Marine Laboratory and virtual audiences everywhere on September 16th!! “Sea” you there!
Register today! http://www.yocs.org/2023-summit