Eleven-year-old Connor Berryhill is on a mission to connect youth with the world’s oceans, creating “the next generation of ocean warriors”.
The young native of San Diego, California was only 5-years-old when an underwater encounter with an endangered monk seal in Kauai set him on a path to take care of the world’s most vulnerable creatures.
Now 11, Connor Berryhill has taken his small-scale activism big and started his own nonprofit, MicroActivist.
One of the ways in which MicroActivist inspire kids to become ocean warriors is through beach clean ups.
MicroActivist say: “Our [MicroActivist’s] beach cleanups remove trash from the beach…but they also make kids fall in love with the ocean and become ocean warriors forever!
“We strive to make each cleanup a unique and fun experience where we not only clean the entire beach (as only a group of energetic kids can) but we create an ocean experience the kids will never forget, with the goal of showing the kids why it is so important to remove and reduce trash in the ocean. Kids leave our cleanups loving the ocean and wanting to do everything they can to save it!”
In addition to beach clean ups, MicroActivist produces educational modules for the classroom, homeschool curriculum and youth groups. The organisation has also created Micro-Movies that show “the sheer wonder of the underwater world, in a format kids love”.
MicroActivist is expected to launch a series of books aimed at educating and inspiring children to fall in love with the oceans and add their voice in the rapidly rising chorus to protect it.
The first illustrated book, The Balloons Blow, co-written by Connor himself follows Connor who leads his all animal ocean crew of do-gooders – including pigeon pal Lucky, and his trusty whale Kakow – on an all out quest to chase down and recover a large mass of balloons, heedlessly released by a shortsighted group of wedding goers.
Each book in the series aims to cast light on many of the core issues plaguing the ocean and its community. Each book not only enlightens its young readers on an important ocean issue, it’s also a call to action to do something about it, complete with an action plan at the conclusion of every book.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea