Announcements

World Oceans Week

Posted by cayleyelcombe on June 3rd, 2021

This week is World Oceans Week! 

Check us out on Instagram @oceanwiseyouth to learn more about the incredible work led by Direct Action, Ocean Bridge and Youth2Sea, including more about our placements starting this month. We are excited to have Direct Action Ambassadors join CETUS, BC Parks Foundation, Kluane Lake Research Station, the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative, the Ocean Wise Beluga Team, and more!


THANK YOU FOR YOUR APPLICATIONS!

Posted by Erin Christensen on April 26th, 2021

Thank you to everyone that applied to Ocean Bridge Direct Action! We're currently in the process of reviewing your applications and lining up placements with marine and aquatic stewardship organizations.

Due to the changing circumstances around COVID-19, we are matching accepted applicants to Direct Action placements on a case-by-case basis, as placements become available and fieldwork opportunities open up. Many rural and remote communities, where we expect to host most of our placements, are still working with physical distancing and restricted access to visitors.  We will take all necessary precautions and work with host partners to minimize risk and ensure the safety of participants and host communities in the process of organizing Direct Action placements. 

If you submitted an application, you will receive confirmation from us that we have received and reviewed your application and will contact you for an interview.  After the interview rounds, we will do our best to notify you at least a month before the start of a placement. 

If you are not selected for a summer placement by July 1st, we will check back in with you at the end July about your availability for fall and winter placements. Please update us on your availability when we contact you for future placements. 

There is a two-stage process for program entry for candidates.

1) Interview with staff and addition to an approved candidate list. 

2) Match with a suitable placement between June 2021 - March 2022, based on your availability. 

    These two stages will occur within a flexible timeline in the coming months, as we work with our partner organizations to establish placements in marine and aquatic conservation across Canada. 

    Thank you for your patience as we work within these unprecedented times to organize impactful experiences across Canada! 


    Direct Action 2021-22 Program is OPEN! Deadline April 25!

    Posted by Zana Mody on April 1st, 2021

    APPLY HERE! 


    Introducing Erin & Cayley!

    Posted by cayleyelcombe on March 22nd, 2021

    Introducing Direct Action's two new team members!

    Erin Christensen, Program Administrator

    After receiving a Fine Arts degree from NSCAD University in Halifax, NS, I ran my own jewellery business and managed a jewellery school for several years.

    Over the last few years, with the global environmental challenges, my desire to play a more direct role in ecological conservation grew. I am now very excited to work with Ocean Bridge Direct Action to bring my lived experience with my aesthetic, skills, and passion for making a difference. Growing up on the prairies, oceans were always mysterious and vibrant places that cultivated a deep curiosity from a young age. I have always been passionate about the diversity of wild spaces and their conservation.

    My other favourite ways of exploring and being in the world are growing flowers, free diving, hiking and camping, cooking, and swimming in all bodies of water!

    Cayley Elcombe, Program Specialist

    I became familiar with the Ocean Bridge program through my own Ocean Bridge Classic Ambassadorship during the 2020/21 cohort. I have an academic background in biology, and worked in corporate marketing and communications in a past life. My passion definitely falls in conservation education, and I see Direct Action at the intersection; I'm excited to help other young people find and cultivate their passions for the environment! When not working, I love cooking, taking my dog to the beach and a good cup of tea. 


    Ever wanted to use an underwater drone to make amazing videos?

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on March 15th, 2021

    The Trident Prize is a competition to empower participants to tell the story of microplastic pollution in their communities. We’re giving away Trident underwater drones to up to ten finalists who will use the device in a storytelling project to compete for a $5,000 grand prize. This competition runs in parallel with our Microfiber Innovation Challenge. However, there is a separate application process for the Trident Prize.

    The Trident Prize seeks to reward and highlight the work of applicants who will use creative storytelling and compelling visuals–photos, videos, data visualizations, and beyond–to increase knowledge and awareness of the growing microplastic pollution problem.

    CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE: The Trident Prize — Conservation X Labs


    DIRECT ACTION INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER STARTS MARCH 10!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on March 9th, 2021


    Join the Ocean Bridge National Summit!

    Posted by Zana Mody on March 4th, 2021


    Ocean Bridge will be hosting a 5-day National Summit March 5-9 (with a special final Townhall event on March 11)! The National Summit will be 5 days jam-packed with events exploring ocean and freshwater conservation and literacy. Many of these events will be led by Ocean Bridge youth from across the country. A few highlights include:

    • Conversations with researchers on beluga acoustics, sustainable seafood, using ARC GIS for storytelling, and more.
    • An improv workshop that will highlight the role of creative thinking, theatre, and play in community engagement.
    • A sustainable seafood cooking show with chef and spearfisherwoman, Valentine Thomas.
    • A session with Future Ancestors - ‘We are all Ocean People’
    • Simultaneous solo cleanups and hikes across Canada.

    Ocean Wise staff are welcome to register and attend any of the public events and are encouraged to share with those in your network who may be interested as well.

    You can check out our schedule of sessions and register here: Ocean Bridge National Summit

    ****As a Direct Action participant, you should have received a special invite via email - this is your chance to join the larger conversation with other Ocean Bridge youth and alumni from the different cohorts across Canada, and connect with your peers in ocean and freshwater conservation! ****

    Samantha and I will also be giving a brief presentation about Direct Action at 10am PT on Friday March 5th. 

    This National Summit is a part of our COVID-19 modified Urban Learning Journey's for the participants. The Ocean Bridge Ambassadors have been working in project teams, and independently, over the past 3 months to ideate and plan ocean service projects. Some of these projects will be delivered during the 5-day summit, while others have been or will be been carried out at alternate times between Jan - Mar 2021. We currently have over 36 active youth-led projects.  Here are just a few!

    • Microplastics Week by Sustainibabe: a series of microplastics themed events taking place March 1 to 6
    • Climate Change-makers Challenge: a hack-a-thon with participants from every continent except Antarctica! The winners will be announced during this live session
    • Wool Weaving with Tsawaysia Spukwus: after hosting a series of very successful virtual workshops to over 600 attendees, the Vancouver School Board reached out asking if this team could offer the session to students at 21 schools!  
    • Marine Melodies: a virtual concert experience, highlighting French and English Quebec artists, allowing them a chance to perform original ocean themed songs.
    • Youth Consultation on Ocean Biodiversity: a consultation hosted by Ocean Bridge Ambassadors & the Canadian chapter of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network to discuss the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and a future living in harmony with nature.
    • Currents to Cutlery: an online cooking class focused on sustainable seafood and local food products


    Interested in creating a sustainable ocean economy?

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on March 3rd, 2021


    Be part of the United Nations Ocean Decade in Canada!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on March 2nd, 2021


    Apply to join Ocean Wise’s Ocean & Climate Literacy Strategic Planning Team!

    Posted by Zana Mody on February 25th, 2021

    Ocean Wise is developing an Ocean & Climate Literacy Strategy and we are looking for nine Ocean Bridge ambassadors or alumni to join us! As a member of the Ocean & Climate Literacy planning team, you will help identify and craft the strategic pathways that will guide the next five years of Ocean Wise’s work in Ocean & Climate Literacy. In addition to influencing the future of Ocean & Climate Literacy, this opportunity will give you hands-on experience in the strategic planning process from defining clear goals, to determining strategies for success and designing projects to meet the identified objectives. You will learn from leaders in conservation strategic planning, Foundations of Success, as the guide Ocean Wise’s strategic planning team for Ocean and Climate Literacy. Foundations of Success is a non-profit organization with the goal of improving the practice of conservation by working with practitioners to develop and communicated tested knowledge about what works, what does not, and why.

    ****Samantha and I would love to see Direct Action youth adding their voices to the future development of Ocean & Climate Literacy programming at Ocean Wise! ****

    So what is commitment? You will need to be available to join and actively participate in all of the following virtual sessions (all times PST):

    Activity 2a:

    • Fri, Mar 5: 1:00 – 3:30

    Activity 2b:

    • Mon, Mar 15: 1:00 – 2:30
    • Wed, Mar 24: 1:00 – 2:30

    Activity 2c:

    • Tue, Apr 6: 1:00 – 2:30
    • Fri, Apr 9: 1:00 – 2:30
    • Mon, Apr 12: 1:00 – 2:30

    Who else is a part of the strategic planning team? The core team includes our EVP of Conservation, Carlos Drews; Ocean & Climate Literacy Director, Scott Bohachyk; Ocean Bridge Program Director, Nicole Straughan; Manager Online Learning & Ocean Literacy, Danika Strecko; and Development Director, Vanessa Abaya. Other members of Ocean Wise’s executive team and conservation leaders will participate in select sessions.

    APPLY HERE! Complete this form by Sunday, February 28 to apply for this opportunity! We will be notifying all interested individuals by Wednesday, March 3 as to whether you have been selected for the strategic planning team.


    You can also share your story on the Ocean Wise Aquablog!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on February 17th, 2021


    Localizing the Future: Empowering Small Businesses (UBC Global Lounge)

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on February 15th, 2021


    Be part of the IUCN Global Youth Summit!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on February 9th, 2021


    Join us!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on February 2nd, 2021


    Interested in all sorts of marine life? REGISTER NOW!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on January 25th, 2021


    Direct Action continues in 2021...

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on January 8th, 2021


    See you in January, 2021!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on December 18th, 2020


    Join us!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on December 15th, 2020


    Welcome to our November and December Participants!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on December 9th, 2020


    Direct Action December Meet-Up! Let's set a date.

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on December 2nd, 2020


    Become a Parks Canada Youth Ambassador!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on November 18th, 2020


    Join the November Direct Action Social Media Takeover!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on November 18th, 2020


    Announcing our October Direct Action Placements!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on October 30th, 2020


    VIDEO: OCEAN BRIDGE DIRECT ACTION YOUTH DIVE INTO EXPERIENCE ON PORPHYRY ISLAND

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on October 30th, 2020

    As they wrap up their multi-month placement on Lake Superior's Porphyry Island, Ocean Bridge Direct Action participants Kelsey Herglotz and Simon Boudreault go in depth about the research work they did, the lessons they learned and the special place they called home for 2 months in this video produced by Paul Morralee of our partners on the island, the Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior. Big thanks to the entire EcoSuperior team for making this experience come true for our very talented young Ocean Bridge leaders! And thank you to all participants for your inspiring work for our ocean and waterways!


    Join your hosts Caleigh and Kelsey!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on October 30th, 2020


    National Call with National Geographic Explorer, Malaika Vaz

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on October 16th, 2020

    You're invited to attend the next Ocean Bridge National Call presentation next week on October 19th 2020 at 11 AM EDT (8AM PDT/12PM EDT).

    Our presenter is Malaika Vaz, a National Geographic Explorer. This session will focus on how marginalised communities on the frontlines of environmental change feel the impacts of pollution more starkly than any other community, and why we need to innovate and implement solutions that are scalable and involve local communities as drivers of change. Drawing on her experience as an environmental TV presenter and wildlife filmmaker, Malaika will speak about her experiences living in one of the world's most polluted cities, filming with communities impacted deeply by pollution and some of the game-changing solutions she's across that can make a difference.

    CLICK HERE


    Welcoming our September Direct Action Participants!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on October 9th, 2020

    The Direct Action community is growing! We’re thrilled to tell you more about our three new September placements. Check out the Map to learn more.


    Janelle Bode started her virtual placement with Parks Canada – Ontario Waterways on September 8th. Until now, Parks Canada Field Units in Ontario & Waterways region have addressed issues with phragmites, an invasive plant, each in their own way. The question from Mary Thiess at Parks Canada was how to work better together to tackle this challenge. Through this project, Janelle is developing an understanding of the challenges and complexity of managing aquatic invasive species, networking with protected area managers and Operations staff at Parks Canada to create a document outlining best management practices. Her passion for studying and restoring wetland vegetation and background in ecological restoration will be put to good use!

    It was a very long ferry ride for Sydni Long, who arrived in Prince Rupert on September 17th to start her placement with Ocean Wise’s North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI) but growing up in a small coastal community only accessible by plane or boat prepared her well. Sydni’s experience with the University of Victoria Whale Lab and background in geography encouraged a love for cetaceans that extended to her life outside of school, where she volunteers as a Sightings Analyst with the Wild Ocean Whales Society. The NCCRI is the perfect place for her to be part of a dynamic community-based program of cetacean research, conservation, and public outreach. She’ll be busy on the boat doing cetacean surveys and photo ID’s, maintaining a humpback whale photo identification catalogue, responding to sightings submitted to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network and supporting public engagement.

    Starting September 28th we also welcome Ocean Bridge alumna Jass Baidwan. Based in Alberta, she will be working with Munju Ravindra, Senior Advisor, Marine Conservation (Tourism & Transport) at Parks Canada on researching and developing national strategies for Marine Tourism and Transportation within protected areas. Armed with a background in sustainable energy development, Jass is driven to take better care of the world and its waters. Her contributions could have large-scale impacts across Canada. These are big ideas that haven’t been explored before and while it’s no easy task, we’re sure she’s up for it!

    We can't wait to learn more about how they are all making a difference! Check in for news on more exciting Direct Action placements in October and follow OceanWiseYouth on Instagram for more and to learn about some of Ocean Bridge's inspiring work across Canada.


    Announcing our August Direct Action Placements!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on September 29th, 2020

    We’re excited to announce the start of three new Direct Action placements in August! Check out the Map to see where each is based.


    On August 17th, after a whirlwind setup with help from Marie Fournier at Cetus, Alexandra caught a small boat from Port McNeill, BC to start her work at the Eagle Eye facility on West Cracroft Island as part of the Robson Bight Warden and Straitwatch programs monitoring Northern Resident Killer Whales. This self-initiated opportunity will build on her background in Biology & Field Studies. Cetus Research & Conservation Society is a non-profit marine conservation organization dedicated to protecting the lives of whales in the wild through research, education and direct intervention. Cetus was founded in 2005 to address the increasing endangerment of BC's killer whales due to human activities – as vessel traffic in the region increases, they work in the field to protect whales and other marine mammals from harassment and harm.


    On August 31, Katrice starts her work with Meaghen McCord at Parks Canada – Gulf Islands! The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR) is currently in the preliminary phase of marine program development and Katrice will help to build the foundations for an interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to promote the sustainable use and co-management of resources while maintaining the structure and function of these marine ecosystems. Through an understanding of cultural links, she will help to identify ways to incorporate such understanding into marine conservation and management actions. Although her work will be mostly virtual, Katrice will be able to experience the waters around Vancouver Island and grow some of her skills in Ecological Restoration. This is cutting-edge work that is vital to the long-term future for the GINPR!


    Isabel may be starting on the same day as Katrice, but on the other side of the country in Toronto! Her initiative brought Swim Drink Fish to our attention and Krystyn Tully was instrumental in setting up Isabel’s placement. Isabel’s love for engaging those around her in meaningful conversation about nature and environmental protection, combined with her educational background in marine biology, contemporary studies and environmental impact assessment, mean that she is perfect for this role. Swim Drink Fish is a non-profit that uses citizen science and communications technology to inspire people to know and safeguard local waters, because everyone has a right to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. Isabel will be working on a number of projects, including research and reporting, water monitoring and analysis, interviewing community water monitoring leads in Toronto, Kingston, Niagara, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation and Vancouver to gather information about first-hand experiences, challenges and perspectives.


    We wish our new participants luck and look forward to learning more about their experiences! Check in for news on more exciting Direct Action placements in September! Follow OceanWiseYouth on Instagram for more and to learn about some of Ocean Bridge's inspiring work across Canada.


    Learn About Humpbacks with Jackie Hildering!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on September 16th, 2020

    Have you ever wanted to ask a researcher about Humpback Whales? Now is your chance!

    Jackie Hildering, co founder of the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS), will be doing her very first live session on Instagram next Tuesday, September 22 at 11 am PDT.


    NCC’s Big Backyard BioBlitz: Contribute to community science from coast to coast!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on August 19th, 2020

    Event details

    August 24–30, 2020

    A cross-country community science program using iNaturalist

    Grab your smartphone, tablet or camera and contribute to online community science by searching for plants, animals and insects in your backyard or local green space. Track your observations with iNaturalist and help contribute to conservation!  Thanks to apps like iNaturalist that allow you to upload detailed observations to a global network of scientists and research managers, all you need is a smartphone or camera to make meaningful contributions to conservation and biodiversity science.

    During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen increasing evidence that spending time in nature is good for us! It can help relieve stress and anxiety, boost creativity and improve your mood. Community science is a great way to get the whole family outside and to learn about the nature in your own backyard.

    Please note: Participation in this event requires that you observe the directions of provincial health authorities. Stay two metres away from others, wear a mask when in public spaces and wash your hands frequently.

    Sign up here!


    What you'll be doing

    Get outside in your own backyard or local green space and see how many different species of plants, animals and insects you can find.

    1. Download the iNaturalist app (https://www.inaturalist.ca) to your smartphone or sign up online.
    2. Head outside and start taking photos of the different species you can spot.
    3. Upload your images to the app or online, use their identifying software to help identify what you see, and add your submission to the global network of species observations.
    4. Upon registration, you will be emailed a package with additional activities including themed bioblitz bingo cards and links to resources for assistance in plant and wildlife identification.

    Questions?

    Please contact Robin Lawson, Acting Conservation Engagement Coordinator
    1.877.231.3552 x 2297 or [email protected]


    Announcing our July Direct Action Placements!

    Posted by Samantha Wilde (she/her) on August 4th, 2020

    We’re very excited and honoured to announce the start of our very first placements this July! Direct Action has partnered to create three service learning experiences for youth in marine and aquatic conservation. Check out the Placement Map to see where each is based!


    Howe Sound/Atl’ka7tsem Research & Conservation aims to build regional capacity to protect, restore, and be stewards of human and natural values associated with the Sound’s aquatic environments. Amy Kikuchi brings a diverse skillset in environmental science, forest conservation and Indigenous knowledge, along with passion for reconciliation, biodiversity, conservation and environmental justice. From her home in Toronto, Amy is working with researchers Fiona Beaty and Laura Borden to build a community map, create education resources and collect stories, articles and photos highlighting unique elements of Howe Sound’s marine ecosystems and culture, weaving knowledge systems to understand long-term change. With her creativity, we have no doubt that Amy will do amazing work with the Howe Sound team.


    Parks Canada National Office Marine Conservation Unit, with a focus on the Southern Strait of Georgia led by Pippa Shepherd and Chantal Vis, has several projects that tie into Direct Action experience, including developing best management and practices associated with sustainable recreational fishing activities in National Marine Conservation Areas and National Parks. As a former member of the Fish Ecology & Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Caleigh Delle Palme is perfect for this role, extending her background in environmental science and biology to learn about BC’s Strait of Georgia from her home in Ottawa with support from Parks Canada’s national team. Everything is connected, even science and policy, and Caleigh is certainly the one to bring them together!


    EcoSuperior & Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior (CLLS) have partnered to host two Direct Action youth, Simon Boudreault and Kelsey Herglotz, on the remote Porphyry Island in Lake Superior. This placement is truly immersive, embracing themes of connection to place, stewardship of living landscape and aquatic conservation. Both Kelsey and Simon have spent a lot of time traveling, but now find themselves focusing on conservation closer to home in Ontario. Simon’s start in business administration has turned sharply toward a career in environmentalism; combined with Kelsey’s experience in international development and geography we know there will be some exciting learning on Porphyry!


    Check in for news on more exciting Direct Action placements in August and September! You can also follow OceanWiseYouth on Instagram for more and to learn about some of Ocean Bridge's inspiring work across Canada.


    THANK YOU FOR YOUR APPLICATIONS!

    Posted by Zana Mody on June 16th, 2020

    We're currently in the process of reviewing your applications and lining up placements with marine stewardship organizations.

    Due to the changing circumstances around COVID-19, we will match accepted applicants to Direct Action placements on a case-by-case basis, as placements become available and fieldwork opportunities open up nationally. Many rural and remote communities, where we expect to host most of our placements, are still working with physical distancing and restricted access to visitors.  We will take all necessary precautions and work with host partners to minimize risk and ensure the safety of participants and host communities in the process of organizing direct action placements. 

    If you submitted an application, you will receive confirmation from us that we have received and reviewed your application, and we will contact you for an interview.  After the interview round, we will do our best to notify you at least a month before the start of a placement. 

    If you are not selected for a summer placement by July 1st, we will check back in with you at the end July about your availability for fall and winter placements. Please update us on your availability when we contact you for future placements. 

    There is a two-stage process for program entry for candidates.

    1) Interview with staff and addition to an approved candidate list. 

    2) Match with a suitable placement between July 2020 - March 2021, based on your availability. 

      These two stages will occur within a flexible timeline in the coming months, as we work with our partner organizations to establish placements in marine conservation across Canada. 

      Thank you for your patience as we work within these unprecedented times to organize these impactful experiences around the country! 



      Applications for Ocean Bridge Direct Action are OPEN!

      Posted by Zana Mody on April 15th, 2020

      Apply Here 

      Deadline Extended to APRIL 30th, 2020 


      UPDATE FOR APPLICANTS: We are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation in Canada and are continuing with the Direct Action program placements as planned for summer 2020 and will be adapting the placements as needed to the changing context. We are continuing to work with our partners and hosts to organize 3 month placements with flexible placement start dates from June to December of 2020, so please let us know your full availability for this year to participate in a placement and we will update our participants as we proceed with the program. There is also the possibility of remote placements this year with Direct Action, with participants volunteering their time for 3 months to work with marine conservation research projects from home, while actively mentored by researchers and host organizations. In each case, Direct Action will cover all costs associated for the placement and the living expenses for the participant for the duration of the 3 months. 


      What Is Direct Action?

      The Ocean Bridge Direct Action Program will provide youth with 3 month full-time field placements that advance their ocean conservation skillset and professional experience during the summer and fall months of 2020. Youth will also receive coaching sessions and training to build their capacity as ocean leaders and support them throughout their immersive field placements. Some examples of Direct Action placements include:

      • Assisting Ocean Wise researchers conducting beluga and marine mammal studies in St. Lawrence River
      • Conducting field work and marine biodiversity analysis with the Howe Sound Research and Conservation team
      • Supporting and learning from Indigenous led marine stewardship organizations
      • Working with ocean researchers and conducting coastal fieldwork on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island 
      • Working with ecological research projects and scientists within National Marine Conservation Areas and Coastal Sites 

      Ocean Bridge Direct Action will cover all costs associated with travel, food, living expenses, training, and material costs for the duration of the 3 months for each youth participant. Ocean Bridge Direct Action will also be responsible for recruiting, matching, and placing eligible youth candidates with a partner organization and arrange for the travel and accommodation directly to the chosen site.

      Program Requirements For Youth Participants

      • Complete a minimum of 360 hours (30 hrs / week) of volunteer work during a continuous 3-month immersive field placement, in a location different from their home, within the 2020 summer/fall months
      • Engage in bi-monthly mentorship & coaching calls with an Ocean Bridge staff
      • Participate in pre and post program sessions to assess impact of pilot program and provide feedback
      • Complete necessary training and certifications required to work within field placements (training hours count towards total volunteer hours)
      • Post to the group discussion forum and gallery each month updating on placement experience