Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen, and some people sit back and say “What happened?” Luckily for people who are concerned about the water world we live on, there are teens like Andrew Thompson and Parker Lindsay who are doers, not sitters or watchers.
Andrew and Parker are part of Teens4Oceans, a nonprofit agency which strives to empower youth to be stewards of the oceans through experiential education, research, technology and conservation.
The teens are involved in many projects through their school’s Teens4Ocean chapters. Recent activities included teens taking action through a trip to Washington DC to talk with their government representatives about important marine conservation issues; Expeditions and Exploration activities which have included traveling and diving while learning in foreign counties; and Technology and Research activities which have included placing seven underwater monitoring stations around the world.
In September of 2013, one of these monitoring stations allowed over 3,000 people to view a live coral spawn in September of 2013. Additional teen led research includes an oyster project in the New Year harbor, designed to monitor and show the impact oysters can have on local water quality.
Another research project include tagging green turtles in the Akumal region of Mexico to help with a fuller understanding of their foraging and eating habits. Acoustic tags are being attached to track the turtle, and are accompanied by camera and sensing equipment which will also monitor the pH, salinity, and water temperature in the turtle’s immediate environment. The data collected will allow assessment of environmental changes and human interaction with the turtles, and can hopefully assist in improving existing aquatic wildlife management programs.
In a few short years the program has grown to a dozen teen chapters and about 1,500 students. It is not surprising the program is growing. Being involved in the various project of Teens4Oceans “makes me feel I can make a difference,” said Andrew Johnson.