What is Ocean Bridge Direct Action?
Ocean Bridge Direct Action is an exciting program for immersive learning and professional mentorship with oceanic and aquatic conservation efforts across Canada. This national service-learning program connects Canadian youth and young professionals with experts in marine and aquatic conservation organizations, empowering them through experiences in conservation initiatives, adventurous opportunities for fieldwork, professional research projects, and educational and outreach programs.
The Direct Action program places young people (ages 18-30) with government, not-for-profit, and grassroots organizations to participate in field-based and virtual conservation and communications projects. Each host organization welcomes one or more participants and provides them the opportunity to work closely with established scientists, researchers, communicators, and educators on aquatic and marine ecology and conservation projects. These 3-month full-time placements immerse youth in virtual, urban, or remote marine, coastal and watershed environments across Canada.
Youth receive coaching sessions and training by Direct Action staff to build their capacity as ocean and freshwater leaders and to support them throughout their service-learning placements. Direct Action will fund costs associated with travel, living expenses, training, and materials for each participant for the duration of the 3 months.
Direct Action is responsible for recruiting and matching eligible youth candidates with a partner organization, and arranging for related travel and accommodation.
I joined this program because I wanted to be involved in my community and support local organizations that cared about conservation as much as I do. I knew that with any experience and opportunity I was given, it was going to be exceptional and there are no words to describe how amazing the OTCC truly is. This experience has definitely taught me to never be afraid to try something new, and to not be afraid to take chances and get involved in something you are truly passionate about.
2021 Ocean Bridge Direct Action alum- Ontario
What can you expect?
Participants will feel empowered with relevant experiences and skills to make change in their own lives, communities, and environments. This opportunity will provide a gateway for youth to channel their interests for oceanic and aquatic environments into professional pathways in marine and aquatic conservation and stewardship.
Participants will have in-depth and meaningful interactions with marine and aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in coastal and watershed environments across Canada, guided by established experts in marine and aquatic conservation. This program aims to inspire participants to protect oceans and watersheds through hands-on work in coastal, marine, and watershed conservation projects.
Youth will provide in-depth support and capacity through immersing themselves and working in marine and aquatic projects connected to coastal and watershed communities across Canada. The length of the program fosters relationship development and connection to place, creating meaningful impact and engagement for both youth and community members for both field-based and virtual placements.
I am so grateful this placement assisted me in my career search and provided me with a network of people who are all working towards a deeper understanding of our environment and the preservation of the species that live within it.
Sara Wolowich Brown
2021 Ocean Bridge Direct Action alum- Manitoba