Will Charouhis (he/him) is a 17-year-old environmental changemaker. Growing up in Miami, Florida, Will spends his free time outdoors, enjoying rowing crew, fishing, and freediving the reefs off America’s Southern coast.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma flooded Will’s city, upending the life he knew. When the storm waters receded, he founded We are Forces of Nature with the goal to protect coastal communities like his own from the perils of climate change.
Will started out advocating for world leaders to enact policies to halt global warming. An unexpected advocate with a quiet but determined voice, Will has submitted testimony to America’s White House Environmental Justice Council on his generation’s right to a healthy environment, and was widely published for his work in having Miami declare a climate emergency.

Feeling the urgency of the accelerating climate crisis, Will joined forces with other young advocates. He serves as a National Youth Leader in Dr. Jane Goodall’s Institute, the FXB Climate Champion, and the youth delegate for National Wildlife Federation and America is All In.

A firm believer that it is going to take all of society to halt the climate crisis, Will now leads the youngest delegation accredited by the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A frequent speaker on the strength of youth and the power of hope, Will has shared the GenZ perspective as the youngest American at United Nations conferences in Madrid, Glasgow, Stockholm, Bonn, Lisbon, and New York.

A published author on the climate emergency, Will publishes a blog on youth facing the climate emergency, and is a contributing author to The Invading Sea. While Will is relentless in his verbal and written advocacy, his focus is on hands-on action. He has spearheaded disaster relief to 1100 families in Honduras, Haiti, and the Bahamas, countries Will says “are least responsible for carbon emissions but most affected by climate change.”

As a Director of the Miami Youth Climate Leadership Board, he works alongside other youth leaders to provide climate education to more than 2500 students in 16 countries.
Having experienced climate change firsthand, Will remains acutely aware that the climate crisis is not going to wait for his generation to grow up. A firm believer that “innovation, scale, and the human spirit can provide the solutions,” Will is pioneering funded research on the artificial selection of mangroves to withstand ocean acidification and warming at the A Million Mangroves Lab at Miami’s Aquarium Educational Center. Scaling up his A Million Mangroves Initiative, Will has already drawn in partners in Australia, Gabon, the Dominican Republic, and Fiji, sharing his mangrove research in the hopes of increasing restoration efforts in other coastal communities around the world.

In recognition of his tireless efforts in service to his community, Will was awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal with STEM recognition, the highest honor the United States Congress bestows upon youth civilians. He also received the Barron Environmental Prize for his mangrove conservation work and was recognized as a Young Social Impact Hero. His work is currently being featured in mini-documentaries in production by Inspiring Young Heros and Blue Missions.

While he is honored by the awards, Will’s focus remains acutely forward and solution-based. He is already showing up-every day-leading his peers, and even the adults in our community, in creating a sustainable world.