The beginning of a very intense eco-filled weekend began with Team Marine at an international youth summit this past Saturday and Sunday. We applied and were accepted into the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions International Youth Summit 2014 in Dana Point sponsored by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. We arrived at the Ocean Institute around 8:00am and participated in workshops that included learning about plastic pollution and spreading awareness. We met the famous Captain Charles Moore, the man who discovered the plastic soup in the North Pacific gyre and toured his custom-made research vessel, The Alguita. We learned from very well spoken scientists and eco-activists, such as Jordan Howard, Captain Charles Moore, Rocky Beach, Danni Washington, J. Nichols, and Kristal Ambrose, who spoke about the issue of plastic pollution. After this full day of eco-education, we stayed at the hotel a couple blocks from the ocean institute.
Sunday, we were back at The Ocean Institute for another fun schedule of speakers and activities early in the morning. After practicing, we presented a proposal of removing single-use plastic water bottles from Santa Monica. We were very honored to listen to Anna Cummins from the 5 Gyres Institute give an insightful presentation. In addition, we also did a lot of fun activities like tide pooling and learning different sea anemones and macroalgae. There was also a pool party and a special guest performer, Jack Johnson, with whom we discussed plastic pollution before the show. We were very impressed with Kim and Jack Johnson’s environmental organization called The Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation ,which provides the youth with sustainability focused education in Hawaii.
This youth summit was an amazing experience and we are very happy to have attended and met other youth like ourselves from all over the world. Thank you to the other environmentally committed students who attended this event with us and work hard for a better plastic free world. Thank you Katie Allen for coordinating this event and making it possible. Another thanks to the Algalita staff for selecting us out of many competitive international students interested in this summit.