From our new partners at Teens4Oceans:
Teens4Oceans, based in Boulder, Colorado along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, certainly doesn’t think so. In fact, Teens4Oceans became a nonprofit organization with the goal of bringing the ocean to students around the world through underwater webcams. Today, Teens4Oceans empowers middle and high school students to become ocean stewards and work toward solving ocean issues that they are passionate about through education programs, experiential learning, scientific research, and the use of innovative technologies such as the cameras that started it all.
As a Mission blue partner, Teens4Oceans aims to reach an even broader audience of ocean stewards who believe in youth education in the marine sciences. The leadership skills and creative projects developed by “T4O” students are essential tools for a budding college student or future scientist. Who knows, maybe a former T4O student will go on to be the world’s next great ocean ambassador!
Student are involved in T4O either as individual members or through chapters established at over a dozen high schools and dive partners throughout the United States and one in the British Virgin Islands. Each chapter is a part of the organization but has the freedom to pursue whatever ocean issues are relevant to their local community or are the most important to those students. A variety of projects have been successful over the years – from installing water bottle refilling stations that spurred a school to improve its recycling program to students analyzing data on sea turtles in Akumal Bay, Mexico in order to help the local government regulate tourism, there are no bounds to the opportunities Teens4Oceans provides.
SCUBA diving has always been an important component to Teens4Oceans. As the popularity of Teens4Oceans’ cameras shows, it is not essential to be in the water to appreciate what is there, but providing students the infrastructure to learn about SCUBA diving as a form of recreation, a mode of research, and as a potential career field has proven to be integral to the education, self-confidence, and environmental awareness gained through T4O experiences. Each year, T4O sponsors expeditions to various research sites in the Caribbean, Florida, and elsewhere.
Teens4Oceans is excited to join such a vibrant and enthusiastic community as Mission Blue. Together, we can all be ocean stewards!
Featured image (top): While in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs), students from Colorado helped to launch our first international chapter by spending the afternoon with elementary students at a local school and talking with them about ocean animals. © Teens4Oceans