More than 70 teens from across the city took part in the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit at WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) New York Aquarium this month, thanks to the genius of Sean Russell, founder and director of the innovative Youth Ocean Conservation Summit.
Teens headed to the seaside to be inspired and become active in marine conservation issues. They were empowered to write and implement their own action plans that support marine conservation, and learned about Stem (science, technology, engineering, math) careers. They also learned about marine and science careers, and the important process of ocean planning from aquarium staff including trainers, educators and divers, as well as an informative lecture by keynote speaker Dr. Ainissa Rimirez, a science evangelist and materials scientist.
Teens participated in the Ocean Planning Game and were assigned a role as either ocean wildlife or a human activity (commercial and recreational fishing, shipping, scientific research), and then given a set of prompts about their motivations in the waters off New York. Over the course of two rounds teens explored the many threats to wildlife, and how ocean planning, improved coordination and collaboration can protect wildlife and support sustainable ocean uses.
Standing O says “Thanks Mr. Russell for creating such an innovative and enjoyable environment for our youth to learn.”
New York Aquarium [602 Surf Ave. at W. Eighth Street in Coney Island, (718) 265–3474, www.nyaqu