Sea Youth Rise Up 2017!

Sea Youth Rise Up was created as a collaborative initiative to provide opportunities to empower and mobilize young people to stand up for the ocean and serve as catalysts for positive change worldwide. With nearly half of the world’s population under the age of 25, it is imperative that young people step up as leaders at an early age -- engaged in a solutions-oriented approach to ocean conservation.

Launched around World Oceans Day 2016, Sea Youth Rise Up develops young ocean leaders and generates discussion and action among youth around the world about how the global community can work together on World Oceans Day and throughout the year, to help make our blue planet healthier for current and future generations. A collaborative effort launched in 2016 and facilitated by The Ocean Project and the World Oceans Day network in partnership with the Big Blue & You and the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS), Sea Youth Rise Up is supported by NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, as well as The Ocean Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the New York Aquarium, and other friends.

The 2017 Sea Youth Rise Up
 delegation brought together an outstanding group of seven young conservation leaders working to improve the health of the ocean and empower others to do the same. Taking action to address diverse marine conservation and societal challenges, these young people reminded the world about the important role youth leadership plays in ocean conservation and they continue to inspire all of us to renew our dedication to protecting our blue planet.

The Sea Youth Rise Up 2017 delegation included the following young leaders:

  • Nora Abdiruhman, age 17, and a Baltimore YOCS director and member of the National Aquarium’s program, Aquarium on Wheels

  • Keyla Correa, age 18, from Florida and co-founder of Plastic-Free Mermaids

  • Max Roberts, age 17 from Delaware, and the 2017 Sea Youth Rise Up video contest winner

  • Abirami Subramanian, age 10, from California and a member of Heirs to Our Oceans

  • Hannah Testa, age 14, from Georgia and founder of Hannah4Change

  • Melati Wijsen, age 16, co-founder for Bye Bye Plastic Bags, based in Bali, Indonesia, and also a member of the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council

  • Helen Zhao, age 17 and a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society's teen program in New York City

This year's program kicked off on Saturday, June 3 with a Social for the Sea - an inspiring evening to highlight and celebrate the work that teens and young adults are doing around the globe to research, protect, and educate people about our oceans, and share ways to take action. Thanks to the Wildlife Conservation Society for hosting this networking gathering at the Central Park Zoo and providing opportunities for youth to get organized and primed for the big event the following day at the World Ocean Festival.

On Sunday, June 4, the 2017 Sea Youth Rise Up delegation played a key role at the inaugural World Ocean Festival, on Governor’s Island. There, the youth led an Ocean March and highlighted solutions to critical ocean conservation issues through a Youth Rally for the Ocean, which was broadcast live via Facebook. 

Sea Youth Rise Up delegates also met with global ocean leaders including President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Peter ThomsonDeputy Secretary of the United Nations, Amina Mohammad, Under Secretary of Social and Economic Affairs, Wu HongboPrime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama, and some the world's
foremost experts in ocean science, policy and advocacy, including Dr. Sylvia Earle. Additionally, the Sea Youth Rise Up initiative received the World Ocean Festival's Turn the Tides Award, presented by the President of the United Nations General Assembly during the Festival and recognizing our work to elevate the role of youth leadership in the field of ocean conservation!

If you are interested in being a part of this amazing team, as a member of the 2018 Sea Youth Rise Up delegation, stay tuned for an announcement on next year’s program details!

Support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation made this project possible. 

Ben May 19-Jul-2017