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Ocean Uprise Recap

September 10, 2019
By: Christian Robbins, KHF Intern

The average American spends 93% of their day indoors¹. With only 7% of each day spent outside, that boils down to only one half of one day per week outdoors. It is no wonder that our society seems to be so disconnected from the very planet that sustains our lives. This alarming statistic was flipped on its head last week at Parley’s Ocean Uprise camp, where 30 youth leaders were hand-selected and immersed into life on the North Shore of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Students came from all corners of the world including South Africa, Indonesia, Australia, and Germany.

Camping was redefined with our beachside ‘glamping’ accommodations. Idyllic days consisted of surfing from dawn to dusk, eating the tastiest food from local farms, and getting inspired by some of the raddest individuals in the world! We were joined by incredible scientist and soul surfer, Cliff Kapono, the unstoppable force that is Captain Paul Watson, and the greatest waterman and waterwoman to ever live, Kai Lenny and Kimi Werner, just to name a few. With every hour of ocean immersion, our connection to the sea grew stronger. As we began to understand the irreplicable systems of our world’s oceans, it became apparent how desperately we need them to survive. If the oceans die, we die. This appreciation for the ocean fuels our passion for protecting it. Our beach cleanup on Oʻahu’s windward coastline served as a stark reminder of just how much protecting our oceans currently need. Countless pieces of plastic debris now invade this once pristine coastal environment - a symbol of our society’s relentless consumerism and obsession with convenience.

Spending a week on the picturesque North Shore, surrounded by remarkable people, turned out to be the ideal recipe for creating innovative campaigns to mitigate plastic pollution. The group I am a part of, focused on the commercial fishing industry, aims to tackle one of the most common pieces of marine debris found here in Hawaiʻi - the plastic oyster spacer. By providing commercial fisheries with a non-plastic alternative, we hope to prevent this pollution at the source.

All of us at Ocean Uprise left with a greater sense of purpose than when we came. We realized that every person must find their own “superpower” and utilize it “for the Oceans.” Whether it is art, education, or political activism, we all have a crucial role to play. Ocean Uprise made us feel like anything is possible. We are the rising generation of innovative thinkers, conscious redesigners, and global changemakers. We are Ocean Uprise.

  1. "The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS) - Nature." 25 Jul. 2001, https://www.nature.com/articles/7500165 Acces.sed 9 Sep. 2019.