World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council Welcomes 10 New Members

We are excited to introduce 10 new members to the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council! Dozens of talented young people applied and it was exciting to review all of the applications. Thank you to the Selection Committee who helped select the winners!

The Selection Committee included:

  • Lisa Jennings (Geneva, Switzerland), Global Vice President of Head & Shoulders and Sustainability Leader for Procter & Gamble’s Hair Care Portfolio
  • Paula Keener (Charleston, SC, USA), International Activities Office in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

  • Judy Mann-Lang (Durban, South Africa), Conservation Strategist at SAAMBR (South African Association for Marine Biological Research), uShaka Sea World, Oceanographic Research Institute & Sea World Education Centre

  • Gavin Lee Wei Tai (Singapore), Senior Manager of Education at Resorts World at Sentosa and SEA Aquarium

  • Oghenechovwen Christopher Oghenekevwe (Warri, Nigeria), World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council Alumnus, Development Team and Ocean Knowledge-Action Network of Future Earth

The new Youth Advisory Council members represent nine different countries and come from diverse backgrounds, however, they all share a common love for protecting the ocean.

Meet the new members below or read their full biographies.

Anna Zaske, Denmark

"As an international student, I travelled and moved around a lot. The common denominator in all these places was that there was always a sea or ocean nearby. Therefore, I consider the vast waters of the ocean a part of my home."

Cade Terada, United States

"I would like to protect the ocean because it has provided for my family and my entire town. As the number one fishing port in the US, we can provide many families with jobs that are sustainable, if handled correctly."



Gabrielle Tan, Malaysia

"Learning about coral reefs, documenting the threats they face, and discovering different ideas to protect them is one of the few things that I can get totally absorbed in. It is clear that action needs to be taken now to protect our oceans."


Ibrahi Rodriguez, Ecuador

"The reason I'm empowered to protect the oceans is linked to my desire to protect endangered species. Sea turtles taught me to appreciate life, respect the environment, and establish a harmonious relationship with it."    

Kehkashan Basu, Canada

"Oceans are the cradle of life and they must be protected if we are to save our planet. Three-fourths of our planet's surface is occupied by oceans and we cannot continue to pollute it in the name of economic progress."

Olivia Taylor, South Africa

"I not only feel a duty to protect our oceans but have a deep-seated love for them. I want to keep our oceans clean and work towards better global policy which prioritizes their health."

Patricia Zanella, Brazil

"As a researcher in international environmental law and global governance, I want to contribute to the mobilization of emerging international actors to modify the scenario of destruction in search of a fairer world and protected oceans."

Rufai Balogun, Nigeria

"Knowing that the ocean serves as a source of most of the world’s protein and a large sink for carbon dioxide, it would be unwise for the people to continue feeding it with toxic substances. Together we can build a sustainable planet."

Sofia El-Rass, Denmark

"I grew up by the Red Sea and spent almost every weekend exploring the tropical beaches and reefs. The oceans and seas have had a significant influence on my life and remain a special place in my heart."

Wenqin Zhang, China

"The ocean should be a sacred and beautiful place. It belongs not only to humans, but to many other creatures as well. If we destroy it, we directly deprive the right for other species to survive. I hope I can do my part to make the ocean a better place, both for humans and other creatures."

This group will join the existing 10 Council members to help expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on June 8th, and with continued engagement year-round. Advisory Council members are instrumental in helping shape the development of World Oceans Day as it grows, providing new and unique perspectives, ideas, and recommendations.

By collaborating on their current projects and embarking on new endeavors, this energetic group of young people show great promise in rebuilding the health of our oceans and conserving them for generations to come. 

Rachael Coccia 30-Jan-2018