Calling all youth aged 18-to-30! Ocean Wise has launched its Canada-wide search for the next wave of 160 youth and young professionals to join the Ocean Bridge leadership and ocean service program. Applications are now open at bridge.ocean.org.
Ocean Bridge is an 11-month program bringing together Canadian youth and permanent residents from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Participants connect virtually to form a national team engaged in co-creating and delivering ocean and waterway service projects in their home communities. Youth get year-long ocean literacy distance learning, individualized coaching from Ocean Wise mentors, and funding to deliver local service projects of their own design. What’s more, Ocean Bridge youth come together, in person, for two expenses-paid immersive ‘learning journeys’in some of Canada’s most spectacular places (pending COVID-19 health and safety regulations allowing travel during the program). For full details on the program, click here.
“The Ocean Bridge program has grown over the past three years into one of Ocean Wise’s most exciting and impactful conservation and ocean literacy initiatives,” said Lasse Gustavsson, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. “The power of this program is that it empowers youth to direct their own conservation initiatives, in their own communities. Young people are often talked about as the next generation of leaders, but this program proves that they are in fact our leaders today. We are honoured to be a part of that journey with them and amplify their voices to the level they deserve to be heard.”
The deadline for applications is March 22, 2021 and the program begins in May. Ocean Wise is particularly interested in applications from landlocked and Arctic communities, rural areas and the prairies. Though the ocean may seem far away for many in our large country, one of the concepts of ocean literacy the program is founded on is that all waterways and people are connected to the ocean.
No prior experience is required of participants and there are no financial costs for the youth. In fact, further supports to facilitate participation and accessibility in the program can be made available.
Ocean Bridge is made possible by the Government of Canada’s Canada Service Corps. Since Ocean Bridge started in 2018,more than 350 youth have contributed over 124,000 hours of ocean-related community service and engagement in communities across Canada.
Learn more and apply at: bridge.ocean.org
“I feel a kind of a renewed sense of responsibility, not just to protecting the land and the water, but to each of these new individuals who I’ve met through Ocean Bridge. It’s something that adds meaning to my life.” – Brody Robinmeyer, 2019 Ocean Bridge alum – Hamilton, Ont.
“When I was up in the North, it couldbe very hard; it can feel like you’re by yourself, you’re isolated in this kind of work.But getting to know all the youth who are involved in Ocean Bridge has been amazing, being able to talk to each other about our service projects, what we want to do when we get back home and how we can all help each other out.” – Mia Otokiak, 2019 Ocean Bridge alum – Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
“I work in healthcare, and I know that our health is directly impacted by healthy environments and oceans. Ocean Bridge has given me the opportunity to educate myself and then bring that knowledge back to my community – and best of all I get to do it alongside so many other inspiring young peoplefrom across the country.” – Annabelle Michaud, 2020 Ocean Bridge alum – Montreal, Qué.
“Because we live in an oceanside community, I think it’s especially important to learn about it so we can protect it, plan shoreline cleanups and have events that are centred around environmental conservation and stewardship. Through this program, I was able to develop my own project from a simple idea to a full-blown website…it’s been a fun journey! – Cayley Elcombe, 2020 Ocean Bridge alum & founder of KnowNorthShore.ca – West Vancouver, B.C.
“After a life-changing learning journey with Ocean Bridge to Haida Gwaii in May 2018, I knew I wanted to do something more with my experience. Knowing that there are many other passionate and amazing young people in Toronto, I wanted to reach out to them and make a difference in our communities. The Pristine Blue Initiative started off as a simple idea but now it’s something much bigger.” – Da Chen, 2018 Ocean Bridge alum & co-founder of The Pristine Blue Initiative – Mississauga, Ont.
“To be surrounded by so many passionate, caring, kind, considerate youth from across this great, beautiful nation, to have them share their experiences, to share their passion, their fire their drive, to feed off of one another and support one another through this endeavour has been amazing.” – Leah McConney, 2019 Ocean Bridge alum – Halifax, N.S.