Meet Our SOA Ambassadors

SOA has ambassadors in 50 countries and on every habitable continent in the world. Each ambassador commits to an action-oriented sustainability initiative to better safeguard our ocean's future. 



Guyon K Brenna


Reef Life Nano Materials Oceanic Infrastructure


From acreage reef installations using parametric modeling to deployments using kinematic wave action unit designs. Reef/ Ocean Farming Habitats attach to existing underwater structures, OR floating platform kelp and seaweed farming stations, bringing more life/revenues/opportunity to oceanic communities. Because the substrates and surfaces can be easily modified for site, species, temperatures, wave action, and ocean floor, the advanced capabilities for biodiverse farming are endless.

Mark Haver


Spreading Awareness About Endangered Species

I commit to promote awareness about environmental issues impacting the ocean, particularly affecting biodiversity. Social media campaigns and lobbying governments are effective means in getting the public to recognize individual organismal value. By getting people to care about animals such as the vaquita, the public invests more interest in oceanic issues, which, in turn, creates a positive feedback loop. The goal of this project is reducing the number of organisms with the status of critically endangered.

Sarah Poulin


Migratory Connectivity in the High Seas: Creating Migration Corridors for Seabirds in the North Pacific

Compilation of large aggregations of seabird tracking data throughout the North Pacific High Seas to establish geospatial “nodes” and “migration corridors” for these species in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The creation of these corridors will aid in marine spatial planning efforts in areas beyond national jurisdiction and help to spatially display the potential for interactions with anthropogenic actions, such as fisheries or marine pollution, and create further evidence for protection of these open ocean areas.

Amy Bainbridge


I commit to starting a woman owned small business (WOSB) which applies the latest technology in econometric modeling and GIS analysis to complex ocean and coastal resource issues. This will include exploring mechanisms to determine perceptions of aquaculture sites, which NOAA wants to increase 50% by 2020. This information will be used in determining sources and sites for sustainable seafood production to feed the growing world population without negatively impacting marine ecosystems, or coastal economies. My company will also focus on species specific assessments and migration monitoring, cost benefit analysis of co-locating aquaculture operations with offshore wind energy projects, and stock assessment so that fisheries can continue to thrive while offering sustainable harvesting solutions. In order to welcome future generations, I commit to educate and empower myself to be an effective national and international leader in sustainable coastal and ocean resource practices.

Matthew Merighi


I commit to building the partnerships between the academy, industry, and conservation which will save our oceans. I will do that through building organizations which embrace all stakeholders and channeling my research into areas of mutual interest between these actors.

Michelle Bender


I commit to advancing a holistic and rights-based approach to ocean governance. To create an enhanced worldwide awareness and a common realization that what we do to the ocean we do to ourselves. To advance ocean stewardship by promoting governance centered on the Ocean’s well-being and guided by principles of sustainability, ecosystem health, precaution and interconnectedness. And to not only help establish protection for marine ecosystems, but to ensure these areas are fully protected and effectively managed.

Alex Mauboussin


I commit to making people aware of the value of trash, and the impact that marine waste has on the oceans. I am releasing an album of music composed from repurposed waste. I hope to compose for organizations/causes/people who are concerned about the health of the oceans and marine waste.

John Robison Hoopes


I commit to improving our collective understanding of ocean issues using data science and visualization tools, and to helping identify and design scalable solutions to social and environmental issues related to the ocean.

Leyna Stemle


I commit to implementing marine debris surveys during our school’s marine biology clubs beach clean ups, Rho Rho Rho and Flosoco. I am suggesting the use the citizen science app Clean Swell. I also commit to continue working with my schools (as a voice for our science clubs) to stop using plastic straws and to replace throw away plastics with compostable ones at events. We are also working towards implementing more sustainable brands into the school's budget.

Jeffrey LeBlanc


I commit to leading an ocean foundation dedicated to all aspects of ocean conservation, with special attention placed on the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. Ecuador faces tremendous challenges from foreign vessels fishing within their Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as in marine reserves. The recent case in the Galapagos Marine Reserve highlights the type of damage that can be done by one ship alone, as more than 6,000 sharks (including protected species) were found on board a foreign vessel that was fishing illegally within the area. Our plan is to create better systems for monitoring such activities, and to raise international awareness, in order to deter future violations.

Angela Chen


The financing gap is not the only factor in achieving sustainable oceans under SDG 14, but it can prevent us from deploying solutions at the scale and speed needed. I commit to growing the blended finance and impact investing fields of practice dedicated to the ocean. The space is still in its infancy, but ultimately the promise of finance for the oceans won’t deliver unless tangible projects are identified and successful investments are made. I commit to building the coalitions, and doing the on-the-ground work required to identify opportunities and build capacities for projects to receive and manage investments.

Orlando Anaya


I commit to raise the voice for our ocean’s health, to study and research every single day, to empower the next wave of ocean leaders, to inspire and create change. My name is Orlando Anaya and I’m the founder of Kilometro Uno, it all started 5 years ago by picking up a single plastic bag, and slowly but steadily has become a movement of people who believe change is possible. For us, education is key, that's why every week we are looking for more places to share our cause, from an elementary school to a University. From a fishermen community to a conference in another city. Till date, we’ve removed more than 18 tons of trash from our coastline with the help of thousands of incredible citizens. But we know that’s not enough, thats why we actively generate projects, workshops and collaborations with the private and public sector with the main goal of modifying local policy. Attending the summit will give me the opportunity to network with fellow ocean warriors, acquire knowledge and tools to address marine debris in an innovative way, but most importantly, propel my actions for the blue heart of the planet.

South America

Fidel Rodriguez


The Importance of the River Ecosystem and Their Link to Oceans – The Danube Basin River Hungary

A program of environmental education focus in rise awareness about the importance of the water ecosystem in the student community from our University. This environmental education program should have a impact inside of the student community from our University ,and also will be addressing issues produce by the anthropogenic food print , and how to mitigated this impacts, and solve this problems given the opportunity to the students to applied their knowledge, and creating innovative solutions. In this way will be contributing  to the conservation of the river ecosystem which flows to the oceans.   

José Wenceslau


Conservation of Sea Turtles in the South China Sea

Engagement on the conservation of sea turtles through international collaboration for the preservation of foraging and reproducing grounds; identification of migratory routes; and multilateral agreements on conservation policies. Safeguard effective conservation of sea turtles in all their habitats and life stages, prompting population growth and stability for the stocks of South China Sea and surrounding basins.

Nadia Balducci


 During my thesis, in 2009, while living in a poor fishermen community I started questioning about waste management and my consumption and realized that there were plenty of deceptions I was taking that were damaging The Sea, the one I was study and trying to protect. I researched and realized that we are all immersed in the overconsumption loop and that we are not aware of what is behind the products we consume and even worst, we don't know what happens with the waste we generate. I saw myself as part of the problem and decided to pay more attention, start an ocean-friendly lifestyle and do something to share this new conscious life. Therefore in 2011, L.O.O.P. was born as Peruvian, women-led social enterprise that takes care of the oceans by inspiring businesses and consumers to purchase products that promote a conscious lifestyle. It aims to create a self-financed movement that takes action on plastic pollution, promoting marine ecosystem conservation. L.O.O.P. seeks to promote sustainable consumption and production, by creating platforms for knowledge exchange and organizing awareness campaigns that aim to generate a change in attitude.

Stephanie Prufer


According to UNEP, every square mile of ocean contains at least 46,000 pieces of floating plastic, entering the food chain and affecting the health of 71% of our planet. This is why I am developing and implementing a campaign against plastic litter on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of this campaign, I will conduct beach clean-ups, circulate infographics on social media and generate a network of people who are willing to fight for the cause. I will first develop a campaign by gathering a group of volunteers, contacting local NGOs and student groups for support, generating attention in the media, and writing news articles. This new network of volunteers will conduct beach clean-ups throughout the entire year. As part of this campaign, I am also researching ways in which local vendors may limit the amount of plastic straws and cups they distribute each day. One possible strategy would be to implement certificates of sustainability where those opting out of plastics will receive a higher grading of sustainability.


Martina Brancato


 A Plastic Sea Campaign

Activities, competitions, workshops and exhibitions for the hundreds students that every year come to visit the Aquarium are all related to the issue of litter and plastic. Clean ups and ocean-related events for citizens are organized. Collaborations with local and international NGOs help us to spread the voice! The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness among citizens about the issues affecting the Ocean. Informing and focusing on the youngest citizens give us a change to preserve our future and the future of our seas.

Antoine Bruge


THE RIVERINE INPUT PROJECT: Monitoring Litter Inputs from Rivers to the Marine Environment

The Riverine Input Project contributes to our knowledge of aquatic litter sources and pathways, with the target of reducing the amount of litter entering our oceans. We sample several river catchments and beaches on a monthly basis to understand where the litter comes from and what we can do about it. The long-term application of this monitoring is a way forward to measure societal and behavioural changes as well as assess current and future legislative and regulatory measures effectiveness. It allows the improvement of waste management practices and help local and national stakeholders to take the right decision to move towards a plastic-free ocean.

Andrew Richardson


Andrew aims to increase awareness of SOA in the United Kingdom, with an aim to get a Chapter developed and promoting the Youth Leader programmes. Andrew is a Marine Biologist with an interest in promoting the sustainable usage of the marine environment. As an aquaculturist he aims to drive innovation reducing the foot print of these activities globally. With these aims in mind he is currently an MSc student on the Erasmus Mundus Joint Aquaculture, Environment and Society course (ACES). He was awarded a fully funded Erasmus Mundus Scholarship by the European Union. Prior to this he worked as a Scientific Officer for Xelect Ltd, a spin-off of the University of St Andrews. He has also interned with Xanthella Ltd, a company that produces photobioreactors with a special aim to sustainably grow algae in rural communities in Scotland.

Cosmin Chivu


Educating Malta Citizens on the Threats Facing the Ocean

Special efforts will be made to sustain an ocean-literate society in Malta through the establishment of codes of good practice, a toolbox for outreach actions, public campaigns and other ongoing community activities.The main aim of this project is to help remove the  psychological distance between citizens and the issues the oceans are facing. The overall concept of the project is that ocean literate citizens will take decisions and push for policies that lead to a healthier planet.

Jules Danto


EUROPEAN MARINE INFORMATION: Preventing vibriosis Infections of Fishes in Aquaculture Thanks to Satellite Remote Sensing

To develop a network about marine sciences to gather students and researchers interested in joint projects to bring innovative solutions for a sustainable resource development. To provide a new tool for cooperation and employment of youth in the marine field. By preventing vibriosis infections of fishes in aquaculture thanks to satellite remote sensing, European Marine Information aims at reducing the treatments in our water. Satellite remote sensing offers a new possibility to detect bacterial population growth and therefore adjust the use of antibiotics. This information could be integrated in a fish farming application with other climate information provided by Copernicus system.

Ludovica Di Renzo


Health Management, Systems and Biomonitoring Protocols of Cetaceans and Sea Turtles Stranded on the Adriatic Coast (Italy)

Conservation of marine biodiversity  and public health change depending on the area and populations present. First step is focused on monitoring of cetaceans an sea turtle of Adriatic Coast. Standardize routine examination is necessary for allow us to arrive at a definitely diagnosis, therapy or determination of the causes of death by enhancing connections along with existing research channels. The trends of major infectious and parasitic diseases will be evaluated by performing post-mortem examinations on stranded sea turtles and cetaceans and related diagnostic tests. The search for contaminants and microplastics in sampling of these animal makes known the environmental condition.  Diagnostic examinations with standard methods allow the study of broader data, for support to policy strategies, human health and conservation purposes.  The ultimate result is the formulation of health monitoring protocols, which, in addition to providing a clinical and diagnostic contribution, will complement the existing wild monitoring plan that currently does not include marine species, with the aim of extending this to national and European base.

Dennis Dorpmans


European Schools Love Our Ocean

To create a better educational platform from which to create awareness and understanding about the importance of our ocean. The creation of this platform will ensure better awareness among educational generations and provide a more progressive mindset in the students of today to improve the health of our oceans tomorrow.

Dan Watson

United Kingdom

Our devices, Pisces, emit light and can be fitted to commercial fishing gears to alter the behavioural response of organisms being captured. Some may be attracted to the lights, others repelled, some may just be able to better see the escape routes out of the gear.
SafetyNet Technologies commits to ensuring fish stocks are fished sustainably by catching only the right fish, in order to feed our growing population and help preserve biodiversity in the marine environment.

Eugénia Barroca Pereira Rocha


I commit to use my vital energy to help ocean life to thrive! And I will do that by contributing to this wave of plastic change. I am a fulfilled recent licentiate in Marine Biology, which I had completed with a final project titled as “Marine debris’ abundances in three Portuguese beaches”. I had increased Portugal’s marine debris abundances repertory, cleaned a part of the problem and I had contributed to Marine Strategy Framework Directive Task Group 10. I also started to develop a project with a friend of mine, Mariana, called "AmarOmar" about cleaning and monitoring marine debris at Portuguese coastal waters and beaches. It's a project focused on science, education, community and governance.It's still in first stages of development but I believe that soon we will find the right waves to apply it. Since May of 2016, that I am the Portuguese delegate at Youth Advisory Council from World Oceans Day (WOD) and together with more 10 young people from different countries of the world I’ve been learning how to develop a campaign, write blog posts to the website, realize book translations and increase my social media impact, while we are spreading ocean awareness and protection. Regarding to WOD last year I had gave two lectures (8th and 10th grades) about WOD and the main threats to the ocean, focusing Plastic Pollution, I had also organized a full day event with a beach cleanup, followed with an artistic workshop with the collected debris and a symbolic play by the beach, with the support of local stakeholders and government. Then the sculptures created by the citizens at WOD celebration were to an exposition called “One Ocean, One Future”, in the local library. I commit that my contribution is to be part of the solution.


Tia Jordan

South Africa & Britain

Making the Difference to Our Ocean

I ultimately want to make a difference during my life time, in the sustainability and understanding of our marine resources. I believe that through research and management of the marine ecosystem, we are able to make accurate informed management decision, which in turn will help with the sustainability of our marine resources. 


Suneha Jagannathan


Experiential Conservation Education in Urban Landscapes in India

I plan to start a social enterprise working in urban schools with a long-term experiential curriculum on environmental education, with focus on local ecosystems, involving local stakeholders such as researchers, fisher folk and local artists. My goal is to imbibe environmental consciousness in school children, while at the same time providing opportunities for on-site experience for university students interested in the field of conservation. I plan to initiate a pilot project in Chennai, India and implement the curriculum across cities in India.

Ashani Arulananthan

Sri Lanka

A Baseline Survey of Coral Reefs and Genetic Diversity Analysis of Coral Species in Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka

I aim to identify and map the distribution pattern of coral reefs, recognize the percentage of benthic cover types, identify the coral species by morphological and molecular taxonomic methods along the northern coast line and around the islands of Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka. Distribution of coral reefs and genetic diversity of corals in Jaffna Peninsula will provide the adequate ecological and molecular facts which can be used to protecting, monitoring, conserving and restoration of corals which are in the vulnerable condition. 


Sam Kelly

New Zealand

The Conservation Tech Project

Enabling students to physically create technical solutions to environmental issues through the creation of a network of student group chapters dedicated to conservation technology. The creation of a large open-source community within conservation technology will allow for new solutions despite a perceived lack of industry opportunities. I hope to spread this model within the US and internationally - the more students we can get involved in these issues the better.

Island Nations

Angelique Pouponneau


Layman’s Guide to the Blue Economy

The Blue Economy will bring countless opportunities but most people do not have an understanding of what it is and the opportunities that would be available in terms of jobs and enterprise. So this layman’s guide provides the answer in simple language with the use of photography. Create a publication available both in hard copy and an e-copy to ensure maximum reach. The aim is to reach 50 000 in readership. The host website will include a place for testimonials to share ideas after reading of the book.

Dilluna Rivera


Starting an Heirs To Our Oceans Chapter at Xavier High School

The Heirs To Our Oceans Chapter at Xavier High School plans to give presentations, to show movies, to have multiple community clean ups, and to recruit more students to join us in our fight for our Ocean. We will start a new Chapter. By showing movies, doing community clean ups, and giving presentations, students will be aware of what is happening to our ocean. They will be informed and  would hopefully want to learn more about it. This might contribute to their future careers and college major choices. We also believe it will move them to start an Ocean friendly lifestyle and join our Chapter.

Barkha Mossae


As the co-founder of #SeeingBlue, I commit to ensure that the needs of young people, women and coastal communities are represented in national and international strategies for the ocean, as I believe that, it is only by empowering young people from Small Island Developing States (SIDS), by providing them with the tools to step up as young ocean champions and true leaders for the ocean, by supporting them with the mentoring, resources and framework necessary to take ownership of the ocean, that we can blaze the trail for a fully inclusive, fully sustainable and future-oriented blue economy.

Furthermore, as a young diplomat, I commit to developing the capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to become the leading moral voice in international negotiations on the ocean, owing to our symbiotic relationship with oceans. More specifically, I am committed to developing the right frameworks to upgrade traditional sectors of our blue economy (such as fisheries), to identify ways to promote women's participation in the ocean economy, and to help Mauritius and SIDS incubate next-generation sectors such as biotechnology and marine cybersecurity.