Category Archives: Florida Keys

Our Ocean, Our Future


It is a beautiful Indian Summer day in Miami. The time between the end of summer and beginning of fall. No, it is not cool outside like I imagine it might be in New England, but the skies are blue and cloudless and the sun is bright. It is, I suppose, a perfect day to jump in the pool or go to the beach, but given what has been an amazing week, I feel compelled to share a few words and pictures about the Our Ocean Summit that I was privileged to attend last week in Washington D.C.

This was the third Our Ocean Summit – the first being in Washington two years ago, the second being in Chile last year – and these have become important global events focused on protecting our oceans from pollution, illegal fishing, and the impact global warming and our climate have on our planet’s oceans. The conference is designed to mobilize advocates and actors in government, private society, and elsewhere to take action to protect our marine environment. More than 20 countries attended the Our Ocean Conference and announced the creation of 40 significant new marine protected areas, totaling nearly 460,000 square miles of ocean. To be able to participate in this important work was an amazing experience, but what was most amazing is what was accomplished at this year’s conference.

Over 120 ocean conservation projects were announced during this year’s conference, including nearly two billion dollars in financial commitments to protect more than two million square kilometers in new or expanded marine environments. During the conference, for example, President Obama announced the creation of The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. This monument will protect nearly 5,000 square miles of marine ecosystem with unique geological features including underwater canyons that are deeper than the Grand Canyon and an environment that is home to some of the world’s most endangered and rare species including sperm, fin, sei whales, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.


Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument Location

To watch a video from the 2016 Our Ocean Conference about how climate change has effected our planet, as well as what has been accomplished during the Our Ocean conferences, click here!

Here is a gallery of pictures from my adventures at the Our Ocean Conference and Capitol Hill:

FullSizeRender (4) IMG_9456
Secretary+State+John+Kerry+Hosts+Ocean+Conference+XycPV5-0Ghwl IMG_9460 Secretary+State+John+Kerry+Hosts+Ocean+Conference+pvxhkLj8T8Xl
IMG_9457 IMG_9462 IMG_9463
FullSizeRender (2) IMG_9406 (1) IMG_9468
IMG_9469 FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender

IMG_9401 (1)

Thank you to the U.S. State Department and Secretary Kerry for hosting this year’s event, as well as Georgetown University and the Kennedy Center where many of the events that I attended were located. Thanks to the U.S. Capitol and the many Representatives and Senators who I spoke to for their concern over our oceans, including the impact that global warming and sea level rise is having on South Florida.

I want to especially thank Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, as well as Stacy, Allie, and Mia from EarthEcho for their invitation and hosting myself and the rest of the EarthEcho Youth Leadership Council. It was an amazing first live gathering of the Council and incredible evidence of what we can accomplish together.

Lastly, I want to thank my school, Palmer Trinity, for allowing me to attend this conference and especially thank Mr. Chapman, Dr. Regalado, and Mrs. Paschick for their support. I would also be remiss to not thank my mom for travelling with me and being the best travel companion a girl could ever have.

If you are a student or someone young at heart, let me end by saying that all of us have a voice and that you can make an impact in anything that you are passionate about. So whether it is the ocean, the environment, or some other topic, do not ever be afraid to speak up, speak out, and become involved because together we can make the world better for future generations.

A TEDx Talk Mother’s Day Gift


I am humbled and excited to share with you that the video for the TEDx Talk that I gave on sea level rise earlier this year has just been released and I cannot think of a better day to share it with everyone than Mother’s Day.

The reason that sharing this with you today is so appropriate is because of the wonderful support that my mother (and father and brother) has given to me is beyond anything that I could have hoped for and is part of the reason that The Sink or Swim Project has touched thousands of people in such a short time.

I sincerely hope that you will share this TEDx Talk with as many people as possible. The topic and the message are very important to South Florida, our country, and our planet. As you will see, the talk focuses on the fact that our planet is warming, seas are rising, that we must and can overcome political obstacles that protect old habits, and that the children of my generation “get it” and will demand solutions, as well as lead the way during our lifetimes to implement them.

Thank you to my mother for all of her love and support and happy Mother’s Day to your moms. The love of a mother is like no other and should be cherished, and that includes cherishing our environment and Mother Earth.

1 2 3 4