Exploring Ocean Advocacy at the EarthEcho Youth Action Network Meet-Up

On February 6, our EarthEcho Youth Action Network Meet-Up convened over 100 young environmental leaders from around the world to learn more about the world of ocean conservation policy and the critical role advocacy efforts will play in the coming months as we drive toward a goal of protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030 (30x30).

Philippe Cousteau kicks-off the Youth Action Network Meet-Up

Kicking off with a welcome from Philippe Cousteau, participants received a briefing highlighting key opportunities to move the needle on ocean climate action and 30x30 policy in the year ahead – both at the U.S. and international levels. Through this presentation, the Ocean Defense Initiative’s Sarah Guy and the UN Foundation’s Justin Kenney walked participants through key milestones in this work, and the importance of youth voice in championing the 30x30 goal with elected officials.

“EarthEcho Youth Action Network was truly an amazing event! I thought I had breached into the environmental world recently, but the event showed me that what I had been doing was only the tip of the iceberg! There are so many cool people in this movement and it has been so fun to meet them and learn so much along the way!”                                                                         - Willow Volkert, Youth Action Network Meet-Up participant

Through an interactive networking activity, participants had the opportunity to meet their peers from around the world. Our Youth Action Network lightning talks, presented by Michelle Muchilwa (Osiepe Sango-Friends of the Lake), Dyson Chee (Project O.C.E.A.N. Hawaii), Emma Kavanaugh (Surfrider Youth Club), and Nicolas Lama (The Grove Project), provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about planning OceanEcho 30x30 events and engaging with government officials on ocean policy topics.

Michelle and Jeremy Muchilwa share their work to lead OceanEcho 30x30 community events.

Applying the lessons learned through this event, participants joined the Blue Frontier Campaign’s David Helvarg and Elli Kerlow for their session, “Using Media Writing to Move the Needle on 30x30”. Through this interactive workshop, participants learned how Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor are powerful advocacy tools to raise awareness of ocean conservation issues and solutions, while communicating their importance to elected officials and new audiences. Building on these lessons, our Youth Action Network community worked to draft their own Op-Eds and written media pieces focused on 30x30 and ocean climate action.

A special thanks to our presenters, partners, sponsors, and Youth Action Network community for your outstanding work this weekend and dedication to protecting our ocean planet!

Want to get involved? Join our Youth Action Network Community and mark your calendar for our next Youth Action Network Meet-Up on May 1, 2021!