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Ocean Wise Innovator Lab

A global project-based competition for youth aged 13-30, including university students, student clubs, high school students, youth-led organizations and startups. Applications are now closed.

Meet The Innovator Lab Winners

First Place: Ranah Chavoshi, Vancouver, British Columbia

Ranah began developing a prototype for a biodegradable and non-toxic bioplastic without a petroleum-based plasticizer. By working with local Indigenous communities, Ranah hopes to utilize seaweed aquaculture and farm multiple seaweed species with coastal communities to create a seaweed bioplastic.

Second Place: Jocelyn Marsh, Vancouver, British Columbia

Jocelyn started the “Love Our Oceans Project” to combat plastic waste throughout Veterinary Medicine. A multi-step process, including audits and a Pill Vial Recycling Program, the project is the first of its kind within the industry, having the potential to decrease approximately 2.7 million plastic needles / syringes and 340,000 pill vials per year in Veterinary clinics across Canada.

Third Place: Brittney St. Amant, Tofino, British Columbia

Brittney plans to release a documentary, “Along the Mountains and the Sea,” which documents the impacts of plastic pollution on unceded Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations territory through the eyes of the Nuu-chah-nulth. Brittney will continue to educate and raise awareness after the documentary release by setting up educational booths and hosting shoreline cleanups.

About the Innovator Lab

In 2022 Ocean Wise ran it's inaugural Innovator Lab. The program, open to all youth aged 13-30, engaged and supported youth with innovative ideas for taking direct action to change the trajectory of ocean health.

During the three-month program, participants received education and mentorship from a global team of leading entrepreneurs and ocean health experts, including Alexandra Cousteau, Co-Founder of Ocean 2050, Brad Liski, CEO of Tru Earth, Joe Mwakiremba of Ocean Sole Africa, Brian Hardwick, partner and impact strategist at Enso Collaborative, Soraya Abdel-Hadi, founder of All The Elements, and Laura Hardman, Director of Ocean Wise Plastics Initiative.

The program brought innovations across a wide range of disciplines and subjects including:

- A biodegradable and non-toxic bioplastic without a petroleum-based plasticizer
- A one of a kind project supporting the veterinary medicine sector to cut their plastic waste
- A documentary on the impacts of plastic pollution on the unceded Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations territory through the eyes of the Nuu-chah-nulth'
- A medication bottle recycling program
- A gamified app to encourage people to pick up litter from our shorelines
- A 3D printable bioplastic made from duckweed


Alexandra Cousteau

Co-Founder of Ocean 2050, a global program of ocean afforestation. Alexandra is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has also received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University, her alma mater

Brad Liski

CEO of True Earth, an organization that creates zero-waste, environmentally friendly laundry detergent. Brad was named one of 16 top sustainability leaders in Canada by Clean50 for 2022

Brian Hardwick

Partner and impact strategist at Enso Collaborative, a futures design and creative impact agency. Brian has helped lead presidential elections, built a national movement on climate change with Al Gore and guided brands of all sizes to create breakthrough initiatives for big impact

Natalie Fee

Natalie Fee is an award-winning environmentalist, author of How to Save the World for Free, speaker and founder of City to Sea, a UK-based organization running campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source.


Laura Hardman

Director of Ocean Wise Plastics Initiative, with years of experience in the ocean conservation and sustainability space

Joe Mwakiremba

Business Development Executive at Ocean Sole Africa, a social enterprise that removes trash from the oceans, and makes art to support marine conservation, while creating employment opportunities in high impact areas

Soraya Abdel-Hadi

Operations Manager for eXXpedition, organizing all-women sailing trips exploring the impact of plastics and toxics all over the world, and founder of All The Elements – a network working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors. She is also a Lonely Planet Sustainable Storyteller 2021

Brianne Miller

Brianne Miller is an award-winning food systems expert and the founder of Nada, a certified B-Corporation and carbon negative package-free grocery store and delivery service on a mission to connect people to a more equitable, just and regenerative food system

Land acknowledgement

Ocean Wise is grateful to be headquartered on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̕ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil – Waututh) Nations.

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