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Welcome to the Youth Leadership Community!

At Ocean Wise, our mission is to inspire the global community to become Ocean Wise by increasing its understanding, wonder and appreciation for our oceans. Our Children & Youth Programs are immersive ocean education experiences that foster love for our oceans through fun and interactive activities, engaging over 9,000 children, youth and families in marine science annually.

Our youth programs and initiatives create space for the next generation of environmental leaders to be supported and inspired.

YouthToSea:  YouthToSea is designed to give a voice to youth in discussions about ocean conservation and sustainability. Our members will  develop their own ideas to become part of a larger group of environmental leaders.  Youth will gain valuable work experience, service hours and mentorship in leadership and education through a work placement with our AquaCamps program at the Vancouver Aquarium.  Training includes several certifications and a weekend retreat with team-building and leadership programs. Our goal is to create a space where youth can connect and support each other as they take action in their own communities to drive ocean conservation efforts. Participants will have the opportunity to develop service projects to be part of a youth-driven effort to inspire the next generation of global leaders, and engage the public in ocean conservation efforts

Learning Journeys: Learning Journey's are multi-day excursions that allow youth the opportunity to encounter new experiences and challenges that furthers their personal and professional development. On our Learning Journey's participants work together as a diverse team across Greater Vancouver to increase their knowledge on the Ocean Literacy Principles. Our hope is that we help develop and foster a love and understanding for our outdoor environment. Learning Journey participants become ambassadors and champions for ocean conservation, global citizenship and a collaborative, hopeful future.  By starting with awe and wonder, then enhancing learning with in-depth multi-media content, we inspire our participants to take action for ocean conservation. 

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award: Ocean Wise is proud to partner with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, giving youth the opportunity to complete their award under the mentorship of Ocean Wise staff.  The Duke Edinburgh’s International Award is an internationally recognized program for young people, building their skills to equip them for life and work. 


Online Ocean: If you are looking for unique ways to engage and learn about the ocean - look no further. Educators and animal experts at Ocean Wise and Vancouver Aquarium have compiled fun activities and educational resources to teach kids to learn and care for the ocean from the comfort of your living room. From crafts to live-stream programsOnline Ocean has it all. Content will be updated regularly. Check back often.

Questions about our programs? Please email [email protected] or call 604-659-3493

Want to stay in the loop? Register to our page to get the latest updates! 

Latest Announcement

This World Oceans Day, let’s rally to build a new, blue, future after COVID-19

Posted by haileyrenaud on June 8th, 2020

World Oceans Day
June 8, 2020
Lasse Gustavsson
President and CEO, Ocean Wise

We used to think of the ocean as an expansive, unknowable, never-ending source of food and resources. Now we know better. The combined pressures of pollution, unsustainable resource extraction and climate change are pushing our ocean to the brink.

Humans need to understand that the world, as we know it, will not survive without a healthy and flourishing ocean. For starters, the ocean is our planet’s most effective line of defense against climate change.


Humans need to understand that the world, as we know it, will not survive without a healthy and flourishing ocean. For starters, the ocean is our planet’s most effective line of defense against climate change. The ocean sequesters carbon more efficiently than forests and produces 70% of the oxygen we breathe. It is also the key source of protein for 3.1 billion people and provides livelihood to 10% of the earth’s population[. Furthermore, the ocean is home to hundreds of thousands of wonderous aquatic species, many not even discovered yet. These ocean species are not only innocent victims in humankind’s mistreatment of the ocean, but some of them may be the key to future scientific discoveries.

As we enter the relief phase of COVID-19, and governments around the world plan investments to restart their economies, we are at a very unique crossroads: do we simply build back the economy as it was? Or, we can build it back better, prioritizing low carbon industries and environmental protection. Can we take advantage of this moment in history when governments are making massive investments in business and industry to ‘leapfrog’ to clean-energy technologies and new ways of doing things.

Is leapfrogging really possible? Of course it is. I am from Sweden and in the 1980s, I can recall how several of the former soviet bloc countries, including East Germany, Poland and Hungary, were in dire need of significant upgrades to telephone systems. But instead of investing in copper wiring and traditional technology, these countries constructed cutting-edge 3G cellular networks, putting them among the most advanced communication systems in Europe at the time. They leapfrogged outdated thinking and jumped straight to the most advanced technology available. We can do this too.

There has been a lot of talk about investing in the ‘green economy’ post COVID-19. Well, I am here to argue that we should also be investing in the ‘blue economy.’

“The Blue Economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.” (World Bank)

Globally, the blue economy, including tourism, fisheries, marine renewable energy and biotechnology, is predicted to grow at double the rate of the rest of the economy by 2030.

Investing in the blue economy means managing the ocean in a way that it remains healthy, and can continue to benefit people as a source of food, carbon sink, recreation and employment.

Globally, investments need to be made in sustainable fisheries, sustainable aquaculture, sustainable energy production, sustainable shipping (including investments in low carbon fuel and green ports), ecosystem protection and carbon sequestration.

The innovation and ideas are there, our governments just need to be courageous enough to implement them.

Eelgrass meadows (such as the one pictured above) have shown an impressive ability to store and sequester carbon. Ocean Wise advocates for mapping, tracking, and re-colonizing these underwater meadows as one of many ways to address climate change through investments in the ‘blue economy’.

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