The Beacon

Ocean Hero Finalists: Carter and Olivia Ries

This is the seventh in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

I’ve spent the last week telling you about our adult Ocean Hero finalists, and now it’s time to spotlight the younger set -- our inspiring junior finalists.

First up are 10-year-old Carter and 8-year-old Olivia Ries, who have been involved in saving the planet for an impressive portion of their young lives. In late 2009 they started their own nonprofit organization “One More Generation” (OMG), whose goal is to raise awareness about endangered species around the world.

In 2010, OMG created the following video:

When the Gulf of Mexico oil spill started, the siblings worked together with local churches and nature centers to collect animal rescue supplies. In August they drove from Atlanta to New Orleans to deliver the supplies to the Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Rescue Center, where they spent several days learning about the many issues that sea turtles faced during the spill.

Carter and Olivia returned from New Orleans determined to see what else they could do to help the oceans. Here are some of the things they’ve done since then:

-After learning about ocean acidification, they met with the Governor’s office to request that he support a bill to monitor carbon levels.

-They contacted the filmmaker of “Bag It”, a film about single use plastic bags, and bought the rights to host the movie in our community. Since then they have shown the film at Georgia Tech Institute and are planning on hosting several more viewing events in the coming months.

-They launched a “Say No To Plastic Bags” Coalition and a “Plastic Awareness Week” program to offer to schools. The program includes specific curriculum to educate students on plastic pollution and ways that students and their families can make meaningful changes in their daily habits to reduce plastic pollution.

Have you voted yet? Check out the other finalists, cast your vote and spread the word! And stay tuned for more spotlighted finalists in the coming days!

Special thanks to the sponsors of the Ocean Heroes Award for making all of this possible: Nautica, Revo and For Cod & Country, the new book by chef and National Geographic fellow Barton Seaver.

 


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