Ocean Health Youth Council

Equipping the next generation of ocean leaders

"Those who are devoted to actionable change can never lose sight of their core mission – and believe in diligently working towards it each and every day. By surrounding oneself with the right group of team members, partners, mentors and friends, keeping this mindset and level of ambitiousness alive is all the more possible."

(Read the thought piece on empowering young ocean leaders here)

— Daniela Fernandez

The Ocean Health Youth Council (OHYC) was launched in May 2021 and announced by Daniela Fernandez as a collaboration between Friends of Ocean Action (FOA) and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA). Leveraging the strengths of both organizations, together we created a mentoring programme for a select group of youth voices that provides opportunities for them as well as the Friends, who serve on the Council as mentors, to actively contribute to the FOA impact pillars work.

The collaboration aims at bringing a fresh perspective from youth voices in the ocean agenda, connecting a diverse network of young stakeholders to policy, science and business into an inclusive platform. The exchanges among youth voices with members of the FOA, combined with the thought leadership and training provided by SOA, aim at empowering youth to acquire skills and tools to make their voice heard and inspire decision-makers and fellow youth voices to take on the action needed to put the ocean on the path to recovery.

The Ocean Health Youth Council is proud to be an officially endorsed activity of the UN Ocean Decade.

Cohort 1

Read the accounts of mentees and mentors below:

Melissa Garvey (Mentor)
“I cannot recommend this program highly enough. It has been so much fun to be able to connect with my mentee and this is definitely a two-way mentoring. We have a lot of overlap in the work that we do but there’s also areas of growth for both of us.”

Rocky Guzman (Mentee)
"It was an eye-opening experience and an honor to engage first-hand with my mentor Jim Leape. The insights I got from his wealth of knowledge and experience were invaluable, and something that I am really grateful for."

Mark Haver (Mentee)
"My Ocean Health Youth Council mentorship by Helen Agren has helped us build incredible projects together to advance our mutual goals. Together, Helen and I hosted a webinar that educated European youth on the ocean-climate connection and mobilized them to call for ambitious ocean and climate action ahead of COP 26. Through our partnership, we were able to multiply the impact and reach of our work."

Watch the webinar organized by Mark and Helen, A Bluer, Better Europe: Integrating the Ocean into EU Climate Action

Cohort 2