Youth Initiatives

Youth Action Council

NMMF Youth Initiatives: Empowering Future Leaders in Ocean Conservation

At the NMMF, we’re dedicated to cultivating the next generation of marine conservationists, scientists, and environmental advocates. Our youth engagement programs are designed for students in elementary school through high school, forming the foundation of our mission to inspire and educate young minds. Through hands-on experiences and impactful initiatives, we encourage students to make a positive impact on the environment and work towards a healthier planet.

Ocean Ambassador Service Award

The Ocean Ambassador Service Award celebrates young environmental leaders for their outstanding efforts in protecting and preserving our oceans. This annual award recognizes students, clubs, and troops who are actively engaged in impactful ocean conservation projects in their local communities.

Are you a student in elementary, middle or high school who is passionately involved in ocean conservation, or do you know a student with a story to share? Complete the application form to nominate or apply! Selected Ocean Ambassadors will be recognized at our virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, November 14th at 4 pm PT, where we highlight the incredible work of these young ocean advocates. The top student, club, or troop will be honored with the 2024 NMMF Ocean Ambassador Service Award!

Who Can Apply: Elementary, middle and high school students. Individuals, student groups, and troops are all eligible.

Application Due Date: Sunday, September 29, 2024

Final project submissions due: Sunday, October 27, 2024

2024 NMMF Ocean Ambassador Service Award ceremony (virtual): Thursday, November 14, 2024 at 4pm PT

If you have questions, please contact us at

NMMF Youth Initiatives - 2021 Ocean Ambassador Award Finalists

2021 Ocean Ambassador Service Awardee

Sienna L., 2021 Ocean Ambassador Awardee
Sienna L, 2021 Ocean Ambassador Awardee

Meet Sienna, the 2021 Ocean Ambassador Service Award winner. Sienna established and led her school’s first after-school environmental club, receiving a micro-grant to fund club activities and writing monthly newsletters to update supporters on their initiatives.

Youth Action Council

The Youth Action Council empowers high school students passionate about marine science and ocean conservation. Through hands-on workshops and collaborative efforts, students transform their passion into meaningful actions, making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

Next Session: January – May 2025

Eligibility: High school students in grades 9-12 from San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles counties in California.

Activities: Learn about cutting-edge science, engage in hands-on workshops, and lead conservation initiatives.

Location: Meetings will be held virtually and regionally. Applicants should sign up for the session in their region.

Time Commitment: Attend monthly council meetings, which are 2 hours each. Additional time required to complete community projects.

Cost: Program is grant-funded and free for participants, but students must provide their own transportation for in-person meetings.

Application Deadline: To be announced

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Telling the Story: Youth Action Council 2023

NMMF volunteer Eadoh Reshef shares what students learned during the 2023 Youth Action Council and unveils the insights he gained about Southern Resident killer whales, their habitat, and the power of youth-led conservation efforts.

Read full article…. 

Connect with Us

At NMMF, we have a passion for marine mammals and the incredible world of science. Join us in our mission to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of STEAM professionals. Together, we can protect our oceans and the amazing creatures that call them home.

Support Our Cause

You can support the NMMF’s STEAM education program by making a donation today. Your contribution directly aids in developing and expanding educational initiatives, providing young minds with unparalleled access to marine mammal science and conservation.