by Aidan E.
According to Nelson Mandela, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world, while Gifford Pinchot declares; conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men. Blend these two statements together and you will indeed draw out the Seattle aquariums mission statement. “Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment” is not only found in the beautiful waters of Seattle, but throughout the actions and ideas of young adults. How you might ask? Don’t fret, it’s quite simple. Drifting among the fish, crabs and many other sea creatures is a program designed for teens/young adults. This program was created merely to educate teens on marine biology and aquatic conservation, while giving them a chance to interpret these facts to the visitors at the aquarium every day. In preparation for this goal, the selected teens are put through three-day training. Being a Youth Ocean Advocate myself, I’ve had the privilege of working through this training. Definitely one of the chief steps of the program, I was extremely thankful to learn the things I did. Jellies, chitons, bivalves, cephalopods, decapods… The list flows on. Instructed by three lovely individuals, the young adults gained a sufficient knowledge on marine biology, marine conservation and how to and how not to present this knowledge to the public. I myself was walking into the program with an almost 0% knowledge on marine anything… Even being raised by the ocean and always being fascinated by it, I essentially only retained simple facts such as, octopi have eight arms, sea urchins have a prickly outward appearance, and jellyfish can sting and so on and so forth; not very broad whatsoever. However, over the course of the three training days, I gained a basic intellect on a very wide variety of marine animals. This was good. This was different. This was exciting. Being given the necessities to learn, I strived to write down every fact I could. We were all provided hand on activities, and eyewitness events. In addition to all the discoveries, I was enclosed by a wonderful group of people. The teachers, the students and the marine life are simply amazing. I have been encouraged to inspire conservation in my marine environment. The Seattle Aquarium does an excellent job of expressing their dedication to protecting, preserving and presenting the quality of not just Puget Sound, but seas and oceans afar by educating the active and hyper minds of young adults.