Ocean Bridge - Direct Action 

Ocean Bridge Direct Action is an exciting field-based program for in-depth learning and youth engagement with ocean conservation efforts across Canada. This national service-learning program will connect Canadian youth and young professionals with experts in marine conservation organizations, empowering them with experiences in direct ocean conservation initiatives, adventurous opportunities for fieldwork, and professional research projects.

In 2020, the Direct Action program will place 20 young people (ages 18-30) with government, not-for-profit, and conservation organizations to participate in field-based ocean research projects. Each host organization will welcome 2 to 3 participants and provide them the opportunity to work closely with established scientists and researchers on marine ecology and conservation projects. These 3-month fulltime placements will immerse youth in rural and remote marine and coastal environments and communities across Canada.

Youth receive coaching sessions and training by Ocean Bridge staff to build their capacity as ocean leaders and to support them throughout their immersive field placements. Ocean Bridge 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 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.

What Are Direct Action Placements?

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

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 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

What Participants Can Expect From The Program

1) Leadership and Professional Development: Participants will feel empowered with relevant experiences and skills to make changes in their own lives, communities, and environments. This opportunity will provides a gateway experience into professional pathways in marine conservation and stewardship.

2) Inspiration and Action: Participants will have in-depth and meaningful interactions with marine biodiversity and ecosystems in remote and rural coastal environments across Canada while guided by established experts in ocean conservation. 

3) Capacity Building and Community Engagement: Participants provide in-depth volunteer support and capacity through immersing themselves and living within diverse marine-based communities across Canada. The length of the program fosters relationship development and connection to place, creating meaningful impact and engagement for both youth and community members.


See our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have specific questions about the program please contact us at [email protected]

Continue to DIRECT ACTION FAQs »