Young Ocean Leaders Spotlight: International Youth Day 2023


SOA Blog

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is accelerating ocean solutions around the world. Here are their stories.

Young people are the future—and at SOA, we really mean it. 

There are countless reasons why young people should be involved in conversations, decision-making processes, and actionable solutions to the climate crisis. This is the planet they are inheriting, after all. 

Why involve youth? 

Including new perspectives, advancing intergenerational and intersectional equity, expanding capacity building, prioritizing societal transformation, ensuring long-term commitments... just to name a few of the benefits of youth empowerment and involvement.

On International Youth Day (and every day), SOA is championing the 7,000+ Young Ocean Leaders in our global community. 

From mangrove and seagrass restoration in Tanzania to deep-sea mining policy in Jamaica, these incredible youth leaders are guiding their communities to a better, more equal, sustainable future for all.

Meet some of SOA's youth leaders below!


1-Aug-12-2023-03-37-39-8414-AMYoung Ocean Leader: Bodhi Patil | Canada

How Bodhi takes action for the ocean:

Founder, creator, and ocean-climate solutionist, Bodhi supports young people to create impact at scale. 

Over the last few weeks, Bodhi traveled to French Polynesia to advocate and raise awareness for shark conservation in Moorea.



2-Aug-12-2023-03-37-40-1315-AM Young Ocean Leader: Shadya Ngirini  | Tanzania

How Shadya takes action for the ocean:

As a vibrant storyteller and ocean activist, Shadya manages to provide ocean literacy to young people in Tanzania and around the world. 

Recently, Shadya joined SOA Tanzania to help plant mangroves for habitat restoration.



3-Aug-12-2023-03-37-40-2361-AMYoung Ocean Leaders: Adriana Ballena, Carol Sansuy Guevara, Kiara Isabella Soto  | Peru

How Adriana, Carol, and Kiara take action for the ocean:

These three SOA Peru Hub Leaders are paving the way for Latinx youth and ocean advocacy in Peru and beyond. 

During the July Meetings at the International Seabed Authority, Adriana, Carol, and Kiara rallied their community for deep-sea protection and helped SOA Peru recruit over 5,000 signatures to their petition encouraging Peru to say NO to deep-sea mining.


4-Aug-12-2023-03-37-39-6202-AMYoung Ocean Leader: Sweelan Renaud | Trinidad & Tobago

How Sweelan takes action for the ocean:

As a marine biologist, Sweelan's love for the environment fuels her motivation for contributing toward change. 

In parallel with the July Meetings at the International Seabed Authority, Sweelan was one of 23 youth participants in the Deep Sea Youth Symposium, organized by Ecovybz in partnership with SOA Caribbean and SOA Hispanoamerica. During the event, she also had the opportunity to attend the ISA Assembly in person as an Observer.


5-Aug-12-2023-03-37-40-1511-AMYoung Ocean Leader: Livinus Renatus | Tanzania

How Livinus takes action for the ocean:

As the Projects & Events Coordinator for SOA Tanzania, Livinus has a vision to see sustainable development in fisheries and aquaculture in Tanzania empowering youth in a sustainable blue economy.

Recently, Livinus helped coordinate a 4-day seagrass restoration event with SOA Tanzania Grass Underwater Project and 10 local indigenous coastal communities to restore ocean health, productivity, and sustainability in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.


6-Aug-12-2023-03-37-40-0298-AMYoung Ocean Leader: Nicolas Marin | Argentina

How Nico takes action for the ocean:

National Geographic Explorer, ocean activist, and professional photographer, Nico is passionate about sustainable projects with intersectional impact.

This summer, Nico was one of 11 participants in the Arctic Voyage for Peace Boat US Youth for the SDGs Program to enrich their understanding of marine science and climate action on a global scale through capacity building, citizen science programs, network-building, and educational experiences.


7-3Young Ocean Leaders: Daniel Caceres Bartra & Stefanie Torres  | Peru

How Daniel & Stefanie take action for the ocean:

Both having studied Marine Biology at Universidad Científica del Sur, Daniel & Stefanie travel the world to advocate for ocean protection and youth representation during international conversations. 

While attending last month's meetings at the International Seabed Authority, Daniel & Stefanie both participated in and helped coordinate the Deep Sea Youth Symposium as well as attended the ISA Assembly as Observers.


8-3Young Ocean Leader: Nayana Cordeiro | Brasil

How Nayana takes action for the ocean:

Divemaster, marine biologist, and President of SOA Brasil, Nayana uses her voice to enact change and advocate for Amazonian youth in the ocean-climate movement. As the CEO and Founder of Tsu Ambiental, Nayana works with marine waste management, environmental education, and research.

During Diálogos Amazônicos in Brasil, SOA Brasil and Nayana coordinated activities and actions alongside other SOA Amazonian Hubs to meet with and amplify Amazonian youth taking action to defend their territories and raise awareness about the ocean, climate change, and the transversal themes in the Amazon like oil exploitation, river pollution, and social-environmental impacts.


9-1Young Ocean Leader: Martina Alvarez | Argentina

How Martina takes action for the ocean:

Martina is a travel and sustainable journalist, underwater photographer, and ocean advocate who is passionate about creating awareness about the ocean and its marine life through storytelling.

Recently, Martina joined SOA Argentina to raise awareness and advocate for Argentina to say no to deep-sea mining. Alongside fellow SOA Youth Leaders, Martina helped present 22,000+ signatures to Argentina state delegates at the International Seabed Authority.



Thanks for reading!

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is honored to represent and support these incredible Young Ocean Leaders and the rest of the young leaders and innovators in this powerful, inspiring ocean community. Thank you for being the voice of this generation enacting change within the ocean-climate movement.

We advocate for ocean protection and a moratorium on deep-sea mining. We build scalable, ocean solutions—from startups to grassroots organizations. We restore and protect critical marine ecosystems in our communities. We fundraise for support and create new projects every day. We attend international conferences to amplify youth representation—and we also create our own. We act across sectors and work alongside each other rather than in competition with one another. Together. 

Every day, we are accelerating change for a sustainable, equitable, liveable future for all.  


Interested in joining the Alliance as a Young Ocean Leader?

Get started here.



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