Invest early in oceans: involving youth in ocean conservation

We want youth to be involved with ocean conservation efforts because young people have some of the best ideas for projects to protect the ocean, knowledge of social media and ways to spread ideas, passion and interest in environmentalism, and a deep understanding of the modern problems that impact ocean health.

If you are a student here are some ways that you can become involved in World Oceans Day this year and encourage other youth to join you in protecting our oceans. Also, there are suggestions for organizations who want to engage youth in discussions of ocean conservation topics.

Ocean Health Topics: (to focus your efforts and discussions around)

-Reducing ocean trash by recycling and reusing items.
-Choosing sustainable seafood.
-Climate change impacts on ocean acidification.
-Ocean chemical pollution from cars and cities.
-Impacts of trash and pollution on ocean wildlife.

For Students: Take Initiative

Find a World Oceans Day event near you. If there is not already one, you can plan an event such as a beach clean-up day with your friends. Join an environmental group at your school or consider volunteering for a local environmental non-profit to share your ideas. Use social media to spread information about the ocean. Post pictures on Facebook or Twitter about ocean and encourage your friends to as well. Follow the World Oceans Day Facebook and Twitter to share World Oceans Day posts! Work with your school to start recycling or get sustainable seafood in the cafeteria or reduce their energy use.

In your events consider how each individual can make a difference for ocean health. Also think about how to make your action exciting and meaningful. As youth, you will experience the future of our oceans and become the future leaders in ocean conservation. Explore these tips about engaging other youth in your projects.

For Organizations: Involve youth in your event

Encourage youth to participate in your World Oceans Event by including fun and creative activities. You can have ocean crafts, ocean games, and group activities such as collective art projects. While you do these fun activities, you can also teach a message about reducing ocean trash by making recycled art or demonstrating how our actions such as saving energy impact the ocean.

For Teachers: Ocean activities for the classroom

As an educator you can bring World Oceans Day to the students in your class. For World Oceans Day, teach a lesson about ocean health and how our actions can impact the ocean. Here are some activity ideas. Teach your students about ocean science for World Oceans Day. Organize a walk to school day with your students’ families to reduce pollution. Work with your students to make your school more sustainable. For example, start a program to reduce waste in your lunch rooms. Teach your students about opportunities and programs for youth to learn more about the environment and ocean.

Lena Champlin 12-May-2016