EarthEcho International and NOAA Sign Memorandum of Agreement to Enhance Youth Engagement in Ocean Restoration and Protection

Today, EarthEcho International and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a formal 5-year collaboration agreement at Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW). Expanding on our ongoing work over the last 3 years, NOAA and EarthEcho seek to enhance youth engagement in ocean restoration efforts and global ocean policy. This partnership provides young individuals with a platform to contribute their insights and shape NOAA programs, fostering a new generation of ocean advocates and policy influencers.

The need for youth voice in global ocean policy has never been more crucial. With climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction threatening the health of our oceans, it is imperative to engage young leaders as stakeholders who are already engaged in mitigating these challenges. Their fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and enthusiasm drives transformative change in how we prioritize and address ocean conservation.

As part of the collaboration, NOAA will actively engage with young people in EarthEcho's programs and events. Utilizing the youth Ambassador programs, GenSea community, and Youth Leadership Council, EarthEcho will connect young ocean advocates with NOAA through collaborative events, campaigns, and ongoing dialogues. This close interaction will not only gather valuable stakeholder input but also involve young leaders in decision-making processes related to NOAA's mandates and programs.

To ensure accessibility and inclusivity, EarthEcho and NOAA will facilitate virtual meetings, roundtable discussions, and listening sessions to collect youth stakeholder input on crucial elements of NOAA's work. In addition, EarthEcho will leverage their GenSea online platform to provide a wider network of young people with opportunities to provide feedback and engage with NOAA's initiatives, ultimately shaping the future of ocean policy!

This partnership between EarthEcho International and NOAA underscores the importance of integrating youth voices in environmental decision-making and global ocean policy. By empowering young leaders to actively participate in shaping policies and initiatives, we are fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among the incoming generation of ocean stewards.

We are thrilled to announce this exciting endeavor as part of this year’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week in Washington, D.C., where EarthEcho’s Ocean Protection Ambassadors, Youth Leadership Council members, and program alumni were present to sign the MOA with NOAA’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad. With this year’s conference theme being “ocean leadership,” this partnership comes at a key time for uplifting the young changemakers who are making meaningful strides towards ocean conservation, sustainability, and restoration, and for ensuring that their voices and ideas are respected in larger, international conversations.