Around the world, our planet’s oceans and their inhabitants face many challenges. As human impacts continuously threaten the health of our marine ecosystems, both locally and globally, it is imperative that we involve youth in a campaign to solve these problems.
The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) was created by Sean Russell in 2011 to provide youth participants the opportunity to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally. This annual event also teaches participants about the ways other youth are currently working to protect marine ecosystems, and then allows them to work with their peers to develop action plans for their own ocean conservation projects. Workshops offered at the summit allow participants to gain the skills necessary to successfully implement conservation projects, teach participants about career opportunities in marine conservation, and expose them to opportunities they can take part in to help protect our planet’s oceans and their inhabitants.
Sean’s work spread with the first satellite Youth Ocean Conservation Summit held in July 2014 in Annapolis, MD in association with the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) 2014 Conference and the National Aquarium’s Aquarium on Wheels program. The local satellite summit success was followed by the 2015 Satellite Youth Ocean Conservation Summit Baltimore in April 2015. The 2016 Satellite Youth Ocean Conservation Summit Baltimore is scheduled for April 17, 2016.