The Seattle Youth Climate Action Network (CAN), a partnership between the youth programs at the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo and Pacific Science Center, recently wrapped up its first year of programming by sending three youth, including the Aquarium's own Youth Ocean Advocate Sahayra Barojas, to the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit in upstate New York to present on the foundation of Youth CAN and to learn about hosting a summit from a well-established program.
Seattle Youth CAN had a busy year of activities, with youth from each institution planning and hosting a variety of activities focused on climate education and action over the course of the year. The Seattle Aquarium hosted a training on ocean acidification which featured guest speaker Dr. Chris Sabine from PMEL and a movie night to screen the documentary Chasing Ice. Youth also had the opportunity to participate in tree planting events, receive training at the zoo on how climate change impacts animals, and meet with scientists and engineers developing technology to address climate change and other environmental concerns. In all, over 300 youth participated in events put on in partnership Seattle Youth CAN.
The culminating event for Youth CAN was a Youth Climate Summit held in October at Woodland Park Zoo. Eighty-five youth and 15 community partners met to discuss climate issues and possible climate action projects. Youth came from the partner institutions as well as from the broader community of young people interested in climate action.
Youth CAN has recently been recognized on NOAA's climate.gov website as one of 30 case studies for youth engagement in climate action. Additionally, the group has been awarded a second grant by The Ocean Project to continue its work in 2016. In the future, Seattle Youth CAN hopes to grow the number of youth participating in the network and have a broader impact on our community.
Click here to learn more about the Seattle Aquarium’s youth volunteer programs!