From Rohit Gangwani in India to 11-year-old Flossie in Dublin to 16-year-old Genzo Gonzales and 12-year-old Kaya Rasa in Saipan, engaged youth took the lead to demonstrate care for our oceans and our earth hosting events for World Ocean Day, June 9th. They joined other community leaders in over 40 locations, including a March in Washington D.C. on Saturday and Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium who organized a walk on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools collaborated with the NYC Department of Education Office of Sustainability, NYC public schools, Brooklyn Marine STEM Education Foundation, NY State Marine Education Association, A Plastic Ocean Foundation, One Less Straw, National Park Service and others to launch their campaign for the oceans May 8, 2018. The partners hosted a workshop on plastic in the ocean with NYCDOE Office of Sustainability, and a local event in Coney Island: It’s My Estuary Day.
Water is a broad subject in conservation. This year’s World Ocean Day had several themes including protecting marine bio-diversity, opposing proposed shoreline fisheries, addressing rising sea levels and keeping plastics out of the water. In recent months an extraordinary amount of marine life, including a number of whales, have been found dead seemingly from ingesting large amounts of plastic.
A Plastic Ocean Foundation is providing a viewing code for a 22-minute version of their movie for NYC schools. Teachers and students were also invited to film their own groups taking the pledge to give up single use plastic through June 8th.
On Turtle Island, an indigenous name for North America, Lakota youth runners inspired the historic gathering at Standing Rock. Our Children’s Trust is in the process of bringing a landmark climate case against the United States Government for not protecting the public trust – clean air, land and water to be passed down for future generations. And of course, students from Parkland, Sandy Hook, Columbine and countless other schools have formed the Never Again movement against lax gun laws.
In an interview, Kaya Rasa of Micronesia, said their march was meant to express support for the ocean. “We would like to relay the message to everyone that we have to be aware of what is happening to our islands and our ocean, and keep them clean,” she added.