The second annual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, a daylong educational outreach organized by the Stow It-Don’t Throw It Marine Debris Prevention Project and Mote Marine Laboratory, took place at Mote on Saturday November 3rd. The over one hundred fifty participants in attendance were inspired by the work and message of this year’s keynote speaker, Jim Abernethy, who captivated them while sharing his life’s work in ocean conservation. Youth who were in attendance at last year’s summit also inspired participants by sharing their work on ocean conservation projects that emerged from last year’s summit. Their projects included beach clean ups, mangrove planting projects, educational community events, school recycling projects and art projects.
Several high school students from Canterbury’s Marine Biology class attended various sessions of the conference while Carole Rosario, art teacher and I led a session called “Communicating Ocean Conservation through Art”. Inspired by the Washed Ashore Project and Oceans101, Carole and I have begun this project, to conserve, recycle and educate students about marine debris. The project incorporates local beach clean-ups to remove marine debris, “geotagging” the marine debris using Google Earth, and making art out of found objects. This project seeks to guide students through the three-fold objective: making great art, learning about how to care for our planet, and utilizing science and technology to share it!