Nominate a 'Young Ocean Optimist' for our brand new award

Date posted: 12 October 2020

This year, we’ve launched the Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award to recognise the achievements of young people who have worked tirelessly to protect, recover and celebrate our ocean.


I’m so pleased to be able to recognise and celebrate the incredible young people around the UK whose passion for the ocean is limitless.

Sandy Luk,
Chief Executive

Do you know an inspiring young person who, for example, uses their spare time to clean their local beach, raise awareness of threats to marine life, or share their passion through research, art, fundraising, social media, writing, or myriad other creative ways? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Send short videos (under five minutes), audio clips (under two minutes) and links to social media or online articles to support your nomination.

Nominations for the award will be shortlisted by a cross section of staff and volunteers from across the Marine Conservation Society. A top ten list of nominees will then be sent to the judging panel, which includes: Sandy Luk, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society; Mark Haviland, Vice Chair of MCS; Inka Cresswell, MCS Ocean Ambassador; Tara Proud, MCS Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager for Scotland and Hannah Birse and Gavin Stewart, Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The winner will be decided by the judging panel, and announced live at the charity’s online Annual Conference and AGM on 19th November.

Sandy Luk, our Chief Executive, said: “I’m so pleased to be able to recognise and celebrate the incredible young people around the UK whose passion for the ocean is limitless. I can’t wait to see all the nominations and learn about the amazing things that young people across the country are doing to explore, fundraise, raise awareness, protect and celebrate our blue heart. If you know an inspirational young person who has done any of those things, please nominate them now and shine a light on their brilliant work.”

Ocean Ambassador and Award judge, Inka Cresswell, said: “There has never been a more important time for us to use our voices for the ocean. I believe we all have an incredibly important role to play in preserving these ecosystems for future generations but there are some individuals who have gone above and beyond, to ensure a brighter future for our ocean and its inhabitants. This award is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work of young people, leading by example, and showing how one individual’s actions can turn the tide on Ocean Conservation.”

Hannah Birse Member of Scottish Youth Parliament, Galloway and West Dumfries, and judge said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how many different ways young people are celebrating, protecting and cleaning up our ocean! Young ocean optimists are an essential part of our nation’s fight against climate change and habitat destruction. Our young people are key to winning this fight and raising awareness of our oceans. Recognising their achievements through this award is an amazing way of saying thanks to Young Ocean Optimists for giving our ocean, beaches and surrounding areas a future!”

The deadline for nominations is 9am on Monday 19th October. To nominate someone, complete the nomination form here and return it via email to Don’t forget to include your short videos, audio clips or photos to support your entry!

Good luck!

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