Tortuga Tide – Youth Ocean Conservation Activists
According to Josh Heckman, director of Tortuga Tide, the organization was founded in summer 2015 by Josh and several friends, fresh out of their first year of college, to tackle a straight-forward question: How do we help save the world’s oceans?
We spent the rest of that summer bouncing ideas off one another through late night meetings. . . . The problems seemed large. . . . How could we tackle rising sea levels and ocean acidification? How was it possible to raise awareness about the pressing precariousness of wasteful living? How would people react to a bunch of millennials who seemed to be holding onto a far-fetched dream?
After much discussion, Tortuga Tide was created. The organization is barely a year old, but is exploring an interesting hybrid model: social media (to develop awareness and involvement) and a program to sell sustainable clothing, all in service to promote sustainable living and ocean conservation.
The first items being sold by Tortuga Tide are two organic cotton shirts and another made partly from recycled bottles. The sales will help fund Tortuga Tide’s own initiatives and projects.
For a start, 10% of sales will go to support SEE Turtles’ Billion Baby Turtles initiative. SEE Turtles works with partner conservation organizations in rural communities around Latin America to protect sea turtle hatchlings. For every $1 donated, one baby sea turtle is protected.
But Tortuga Tide is also developing its own outreach programs to enable young people to learn about the current state of the ocean and to show how individuals can make a difference.
An initiative to develop “Tortuga Tide ambassadors” is just emerging and is one of the more intriguing programs underway. The first ambassadors are in high school, college, and graduate school.
We are also planning to establish an initiative to fund and empower millennials with ocean conservation projects and ambitions. Our long-term goals include having our own research facilities for ocean related projects, bringing Tortuga Tide goals to youth and to classrooms, and establishing Tortuga Tide as a brand in sustainable, eco-minded living.
Tortuga Tide is more than just a sustainable retail company. . . . We like to think of Tortuga Tide as a movement that belongs to each and every individual who chooses to consciously live with the planet and the ocean in mind. We hope you become a part of our ohana, and together we can all make powerful waves directed towards the goal of a healthier, happier planet and ocean.
The serious involvement of young people is an exciting development when it comes to addressing crucial issues from climate change to ocean conservation to sustainable living.
Socially-conscious, innovative organizations like Tortuga Tide, with young people inspiring other young people to get active, promise to pump more energy and optimism into these discussions and actions.
Efforts like this are worth our attention and support!