I believe that our oceans are one of the last pure things on this planet. The sheer strength of the waves, the power of the tides, the beauty of all the creatures within, and the way the ocean connects our world leaves me breathless day after day. There is nowhere else in the world that I feel safer, yet more powerless, connected, and so insignificant. When I am floating in the ocean, feeling the current move my body as it does; when I dive under a wall of blue and hear the rest of the wave crash around me, I don’t think I have ever felt more at peace with my surroundings. I find great comfort in the fact that no matter where I go in the world, I can find those beautiful blue waves and I will be home.
In Australia, our beaches are who we are. They’re our home and our identity. However, as a general society, nobody wants the job of looking after them and we are in desperate need of a major culture shift. Our oceans are being destroyed by mankind – if it’s not a gas hub in the Kimberley, dredging on the Great Barrier Reef or wiping out an apex predator as part of a movement based on fear, it’s the crippling effect of rubbish. I am endeavouring to change this by creating awareness among young people about the connection between a healthy ocean and a healthy life, for they will soon be the caretakers of our planet. The ECO. Clean Beach Initiative encourages teenagers to take a stand against the devastation occurring in our oceans across the globe. It’s about planting this passion’s seed at a young age and creating a society that is environmentally conscious and wants to preserve the beautiful coastline we are so blessed to live on.
While the campaign is international, it focuses on change at a local scale. It teaches both locals and tourists to understand that it is our job as a community to keep this beautiful ecosystem clean and as untouched as possible. I am only young, but when the time comes for me to have my own children, I want them to have the opportunity to not only see but to live and experience the serenity and beauty of the ocean, the same way I have been blessed enough to do my whole life.