Sea Urchins ~ An Ocean Magazine for the Next Generation
February 28, 2013
New Mission Blue Partner, Sea Urchins Magazine is a Great Britain based children’s magazine that brings ocean conservation to kids focusing on positive and awe inspiring messages and images. ~ Ed.
Where it all began…
My grandfather was one of the biggest influences in my life. He used to talk to me about nature, bought me my first pair of binoculars and started my subscription to the RSPB magazine (a bird magazine).
I instantly found respect for nature, the outdoors and conservation and this will stay with me for the rest of my life. Later I went on to study Biology for my further education and Marine Biology as my university degree. The next step for me was to gain all of my diving qualifications. I gained all of my advanced PADI diving courses, while I travelled the world .
My dream was to combine a mixture of my passions- Marine science, diving and teaching. This is what led me to Madagascar. I spent a year in a very remote part of the island working as a marine scientist and dive instructor for the marine conservation organisation, ‘Blue Ventures.’
When I say remote…think 15-24 hours on a 4×4 truck from the nearest town. That year in Madagascar was one of the most significant times of my life. I had amazing diving experiences and met incredible individuals. Being away gave me a lot of time to think and ponder about how I could educate kids about the ocean and impact them in the same way I was at such a pivotal age.
I came home, put the thoughts into action and began producing the first edition of Sea Urchins magazine. The fundamental aim of the magazine has always been to make it engaging, fun, interactive and empowering and since producing the pilot edition, I have always retained this strategy. Once the pilot copy was completed, I needed an avenue in which to get the magazine into the right hands and having a presence at marine events was one of the solutions. It has been a place where I have been able to meet enthusiastic and inquisitive young readers and parents, which is what drives me and the whole project.
We had a hugely successful press event to officially launch the pilot issue of the magazine (http://bit.ly/11kZIXU). There were UK celebrities and press to help generate exposure for the project. I even dived in the shark tank with a giant copy of the magazine with TV star and businessman Theo Paphitis. Check out the fun video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Project Ocean- Selfridges, London
Sea Urchins attended this event, I made a little speech and we all worked together to make placards and protest around the store.
The London Diveshow, London Excel
Sea Urchins were generously given a large stand where we created a fun packed activity area with a drawing competition and making marine creatures from recycled materials.
Another great event where Sea Urchins created a fun activity area for the kids and where we spent 2 days talking about the beautiful ocean!
Ocean of Stars- London Sealife
This was a great marine conservation event. I was given a 10 minute speakers slot alongside Biteback and the WDCS. Instead of a conventional speech I decided to surprise the audience with a ‘Marine morphology catwalk show’. A range of my lovely helpers walked a catwalk in homemade marine themed costumes to the sound of ocean themed music e.g. ‘Under the Sea’ from the Little Mermaid. I took to the microphone and talked through some of their amazing adaptations.
Sea Urchins is about many different things, but the biggest goal is just to inspire and excite everyone, particularly the next generation about the ocean and the natural world.
I feel it is important to enlighten everyone on the important issues, but not to preach or depress. The magazine illustrates the mystery and beauty of the ocean and gently informs everyone of certain topics with encouragement to make small empowering steps!
If everyone is exposed to the wonder of the ocean, there is no doubt that they will want to take it upon themselves to help. My dream is to touch as many lives as I can in a positive way! Sea Urchins is now on its third issue and I feel like this is the best issue so far. It is full of exciting content, fun activities, conservation information and awesome illustration and imagery. The paper copy is available on request and the App version is available on all tablets and devices with extra videos and sound clips.
You can download Sea Urchins magazine from Pocketmags: http://www.pocketmags.com/viewmagazine.aspx?titleid=1245&title=Sea+Urchins+Magazine
Itunes: Download the app!
By Samantha Hewitt, Sea Urchins