On December 6, teens from the Seattle Aquarium brought the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit program to the west coast of the U.S. for the first time! Through this event, over 100 attendees worked to plan a variety of ocean conservation projects. Thanks to support from Disney and the Seattle Aquarium, we were able to offer mini-grants to support the student-driven ocean conservation projects planned by summit participants. This year’s grant recipients are:
- Through his initiative “The Plastic Project”, Eli Fonseca will educate his classmates and community members on the impacts of marine debris and plastic pollution, and organize local coastal cleanups in the Seattle region.
- Through Sustainable Salmon Solutions, Blake Toney will monitor water quality in the streams around Gig Harbor and use the data collected to educate the public on the human impacts on salmon populations, and other wildlife in this region.
- Jolie Elliott will work on coral restoration efforts in the Riviera Maya Mexico area and will carry out an independent research project on these reefs.
- Abigail Welter will work with local Girl Scouts on a battery recycling campaign, first educating members of her community about the importance of proper battery disposal to prevent chemicals from entering the environment, and then providing bags to aid in battery disposal.
- Matthew Benedict’s Environmental Change Creators project will work to teach middle school students about conservation and environmental stewardship through an after school nature club. Activities the club carries out will include nature hikes, litter cleanups, and wilderness survival training with the goal of connecting students to the natural world.