Marine PlasticS Ambassadors

In a single year, 11 million metric tons of new plastic enters our ocean with estimates of that number potentially tripling by 2040. Of those numbers 5 million metric tons are plastic films and another 0.7 million metric tons are microplastics, staggering numbers that speak to the urgency that we must take action to mitigate this issue, especially in urban centers in coastal communities.

Building a pathway of leadership and professional opportunities for young ocean conservation leaders is key to eliminating marine debris in order to restore the ocean to health and abundance. EarthEcho has partnered with SC Johnson to build a network of youth to become Marine Plastics Ambassadors—a force for ocean restoration. Twenty-five young leaders (ages 16-22 in the Great Lakes region) will engage with the powerful multimedia experience of Blue Paradox and mobilize that inspiration to build and execute plastics pollution mitigation campaigns or projects to address the issue authentically in their local communities.

EarthEcho Marine Plastics Ambassadors will:

  • Experience Blue Paradox and participate in an initial in-person kick off event held in Chicago;
  • Participate in twice-weekly virtual seminars with experts and mentors in marine plastics pollution, materials innovation, as well as communication, storytelling, and campaign building (ambassadors who attend all 20 hours of the virtual sessions, or the equivalent, will receive a $500 stipend);
  • Submit a proposal for up to $3,000 in funding for a community-based campaign to educate their community and/or project to take action on reducing marine plastics;
  • Execute a plastic pollution mitigation campaign within their local community with the support of EarthEcho International, their peers in the Ambassador program, and partners from throughout the Great Lakes region;
  • Collaborate with their fellow Ambassadors and the EarthEcho team and share photos/highlights from program work;
  • Meet with youth leaders participating in EarthEcho’s other programs in August 2024 upon successful completion of their campaign;
  • Share their stories with a larger youth audience through EarthEcho’s GenSea social network.

Application deadline: March 1, 2024 at 11:59pm EASTERN.

*Please note: participants MUST reside within the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes region includes the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Ontario.

If you have any questions, please contact EarthEcho’s Marine Plastics Program Manager, Sam Athey at Thank you for your support!

Apply Today!