An integral part of the Tree Myriah brand is creating jewelry and a community that encourages curiosity, adventure, and discovery-- not only of the self, but also of the beautiful world we get to live in. Ocean Connectors, a San Diego-based nonprofit program, does exactly that.
Ocean Connectors engages youth from underserved communities in conservation through long-term environmental education, field trips, and bilingual curriculum across the U.S. and Mexico. Established by Frances Lang, with help from other conservationists and scientists in 2007, the group began by connecting students to a singular, special access sea turtle research site on San Diego Bay. Fast forward and today Ocean Connectors has joined leading experts in marine science to inspire collaborative global stewardship in over 30,000 students.
By cultivating environmental mindfulness and global awareness from a young age, the organization sets up future generations-- who may otherwise not be exposed to this type of curriculum-- to be empowered, critical thinkers. Ocean Connectors students not only gain an understanding of the value of marine resources and the interconnectedness of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, but also how to link their program knowledge and STEM learning experience to the real-world.
By creating an understanding of the importance of protecting marine environments early in life, this organization sets the tone for future scientists, teachers, and corporate decision makers. We have to water the seeds that have not fully blossomed in order to ever see the flower.
I’d like to highlight the unique accomplishments of Ocean Connectors over the past few years for some insight into all that they do:
- During the 2019-20 school year, Ocean Connectors activities included 65 coastal field trips and 92 class presentations. These unique experiences studying and exploring the incredible natural resources of the Pacific Ocean inspire children to consider future careers in STEM fields, maritime industries, and coastal conservation.
- In response to the COVID pandemic, Ocean Connectors developed virtual education materials to provide interactive access to the Pacific coast. By using their existing archive of video photos, combined with newly created digital content, students had the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, participate in ocean science trivia, and experience virtual expeditions to the waterfront, all from the safety of their own home. Some of these activities include:
- Class presentations in webinar format for 2,003 students.
- Virtual field trips to the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge (available here: Part 1 and Part 2).
- Picturing Conservation: Nature Photography Workshop transformed into a virtual guide to nature photography for beginner photographers of all ages.
- Ocean Connectors measured a significant increase in knowledge of ocean STEM, climate change, and environmental science from pre to post at the 95% Confidence Interval. Students exhibited an 80% average behavioral score on posttests, indicating they are inspired to take individual actions to protect the environment and respond to climate change impacts, such as pollution prevention, water conservation, native plant gardens, and recycling.
- Last year, students planted 636 native plants at wetland, upland, and stream corridor habitats around San Diego Bay. They also removed 37.6 pounds of litter and 132.4 cubic feet of invasive vegetation. Since the beginning, Ocean Connectors students have planted 5,814 native plants!
According to Ocean Connectors Executive Director Frances Lang, “Our work is made possible entirely through partnerships. Our partnership with Tree Myriah is a perfect example of the power of collaboration, bringing like-minded businesses together to make the world a better place.”
I believe that our youth, with the help of those who came before them, have the power to change the trajectory of climate change. They will create a more mindful and intentional society when given the right tools. We all have the power to spark this sort of change! Supporting me and my art is just a small step in giving back, but I hope it makes you pause and reflect on our collective experiences and the power your dollar holds in voting for a better future.
It brings me immense joy to help you decorate your daily life with unique and meaningful jewelry. Knowing that each and every TM babe values our planet (and all its inhabitants) and contributes to the betterment of it makes me optimistic and hopeful of what’s to come.
Inspiration, adventure, and love in this world are abundant-- thank you for ordering from Tree Myriah and strengthening my and Ocean Connectors’ missions to amplify that.
I donate 10% of all my profits directly to Ocean Connectors and am so grateful for the opportunity to share their message with you!
If you have any questions regarding TM's work with the organization, please don’t hesitate to contact me here!
With love and grace,