An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Youth Summit Empowers the Next Generation of Ocean Conservationists

Registration is now open for the fifth anniversary Youth Ocean Conservation Summit which will take place on Saturday, November 14 at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL! Attendees at this year’s event will be inspired by dynamic speakers, including a keynote address by renowned ocean conservationist Wendy Benchley! Participants will learn from students leading ocean conservation programs in their communities, have the opportunity to develop plans for their own ocean conservation projects, and take part in workshops and trainings designed to give them the skills needed to ensure the success of these projects. Participants will also get the chance to network with conservation organizations, and other young people who are passionate about ocean conservation!

To register for the Summit visit and complete the online registration form by October 15, 2015. The registration fee for the event is $13 per participant, and includes lunch, snacks, and program materials. For an additional $5, participants can purchase a limited edition Youth Ocean Conservation Summit t-shirt designed by world-renowned marine artist, Wyland. On the site you can also view the complete Summit program where you can learn more about the sessions and speakers featured at the event, and find out about additional activities for Summit participants including a Teen Science Café and exploration of Sarasota Bay.

Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival: On Friday, November 13, join Wendy Benchley, young ocean conservation leaders, community members of all ages to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit program at the 2015 Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival. This special evening will feature a screening of the award-winning film Shark Girl. Shark Girl shares the inspiring story of twenty-one year old Madison Stewart who has made it her life mission to protect sharks and their ocean home. The film goes inside Madison’s underwater world, following her journey from Australia to Mexico, Palau and the Bahamas, where her extraordinary relationship with these wild animals unfolds. Madison reveals how sharks are vital to the health of our oceans. If they are endangered, so is the entire underwater ecosystem. Her journey is a powerful wake-up call and a moving record of one determined young woman devoted to protect the animal and underwater ecosystem she loves so much.

The event will also feature a silent auction/raffle fundraiser with marine themed artwork and other items. Proceeds will support the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit program. Admission to this event is free, however due to limited seating an RSVP is required. Attendees can RSVP using the form at

The event will take place in Mote Marine Laboratory’s WAVE Center. Doors open at 6:30pm for our silent auction and showcase of student conservation projects.

2015 Youth Ocean Conservation Film Competition: Through this competition, students will highlight ocean conservation issues by creating short films to raise awareness of these topics. Winning films will be shown to the public at the community film festival on November 13! Full contest details and entry information are available at: