How Youth Advisory Council members celebrated World Ocean Day 2023!
World Ocean Day 2023 was full of plenty of exciting events and celebrations all around the world. This week, we are shining the spotlight on some of our brilliant Youth Advisory Council members and the events and initiatives they planned for World Ocean Day 2023.
The 2023 Youth Advisory Council cohort consisted of 26 young leaders from 21 different countries. Council members are responsible for promoting and encouraging World Ocean Day efforts in their own countries, collaborating with one other to lead their own initiatives, and providing guidance for the overall focus of World Ocean Day.
Check out these summaries from some of the Council members’ celebrations on and around World Ocean Day.
Caitlin Turner, Scotland, age 22:
I helped to organise the Sea Scotland Conference for 2023, which was held on 8 June as a World Ocean Day event. Prior to this, I’ve helped to organise, host and present at youth-focused pre-events for the conference. On 9 June, I also presented at the Seabird Centre Marine Fest in North Berwick on my role in the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council, what I’ve learned from fellow council members, and the future I’d like to see for Scottish seas.
Rada Pandeva, Bulgaria, age 20 and Grace Westgarth, England, age 19:
Grace Westgarth (English representative on the Council) and I (Bulgarian representative) organised a joint event on 19 May in Falmouth, UK, where both of us are based. Our event was called Blue Horizons: A People’s Assembly for Ocean Conservation and its main focus was a deliberative discussion on ocean advocacy on a local and global level, with a focus on practical and collective action. We organised a swim afterwards at one of the local beaches because we believe getting in the water is one of the most authentic ways to connect to the Ocean.
Matsobane Malebatja, South Africa, age 23:
Through a partnership with Ocean Movement, I led a local beach cleanup that brought together youth-led climate action organization and volunteers for a clean-up at Kawe Beach as well as an outreach to the community raising awareness on challenges faced by our ocean and how we can collectively tackle them as a community
Bodhi Patil, Canada, age 19:
I was invited to speak at the SDG Disrupter Summit: World Ocean Day, hosted by Bermuda Asset Management in partnership with BridgingTheGap Ventures, Island Innovation, Visionary Access and Let’s Disrupt Digital! Set against the beautiful backdrop of Bermuda, this incredible event brought together thought leaders, experts and changemakers from around the world to engage in crucial discussions on Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water.
Stephanie Hung, Hong Kong, age 18:
While studying abroad in the United States, I organized an event where the Boston University community came together and made fish flags- a Rising Waters Art Installation- while having meaningful climate conversations as a climate-conscious community. The art was installed in a high-traffic environment on the Boston University Campus for three days and drew high levels of attention and conversations regarding the issue of rising sea levels. As a project of Climate Creatives and Rising Waters, the event was a collaboration with green clubs on campus such as Epsilon Eta and the Environmental Student Organization, with support of the Student Government, which all brought many students to participate and engage in this meaningful event.
Tom Ogalo, Kenya, age 22:
I commemorated World Ocean Day at St. Theresa’s Girls Secondary School in Kisumu. This special event highlights the power of art and storytelling in advocating for the protection of our ocean, featuring a vibrant gathering of artists, students, storytellers, and ocean ambassadors from different backgrounds. Together, we aim to raise awareness and inspire action for the preservation of our precious marine ecosystems.
Lotta Baalerud, Norway, age 21:
I hosted an online “blue careers” talk, where three professionals shared their experiences with having a blue career. The purpose of the event was to highlight the many exciting career paths that one can take to support 30×30 and to hear from professionals as to why they chose a “blue career.”
Anya-Marie Hilaire, St. Lucia, age 17:
I hosted a talk to fourth graders about the impact of ocean preservation and what they can do to help at their age. In addition to this, they made posters with their favorite part of the ocean or something they wish to save in the ocean.
Ajay Sawant, India, age 21:
We carried out a beach cleanup and hosted an art and writing contest for the kids on the beach. The contest’s theme was the ‘human-ocean’ bond.
Jasmine Rodman, Canada, age 18:
Working with Ocean Week Victoria, I supported the planning, execution, and coordination of a week long celebration of the ocean, as well as hosted my own Art With A Purpose workshop!
I held a cleanup/mop-up event on 8 June and another event for teenagers in secondary school which included craft exhibitions and ocean art paintings held during the week of World Ocean Day.