Sometimes it takes little people to solve big problems, and one local 14-year-old is doing just that. Joey Goldstein, founder of Saving Ocean Life (SOL), recently received the “Youth Environmental Excellence Award” by SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. The prestigious award is given to outstanding young people who lead exemplary environmental education and conservation projects.
The nationwide competition had many participants and Joey was the youngest recipient to win for her efforts in creating SOL in 2015. The young environmentalist’s mission is to prevent pollution on the beaches through organized beach clean-ups and to spread awareness throughout the community.
SOL plans events four times a year and encourages all ages to attend. An educational component is also incorporated into the event to educate the youth of today with hopes to decrease the amount of trash on our beaches tomorrow. Participants have learned about sea turtles, sharks and Florida’s coral reefs. Additionally, SOL has hosted a turtle release and a shark tagging excursion. The passionate teen’s “Trash Treasure Hunt” combines a beach clean-up along with the excitement of a treasure hunt where participants can win prizes.
“Even though I’m still a kid I believe it’s important to save the ocean and the beautiful creatures for the generations to come,” explains Joey.
By receiving this award, Joey is sure to accomplish her goals. SeaWorld hosted the award winners for a behind the scenes experience where they had the opportunity to spend the day at the park learning from marine biologists and SeaWorld’s Rescue Team.
The eighth-grade advocate said, “If kids want to get involved they should speak up and follow their passions. Even though they may have to take risks they should just go for it. There are so many things contributing to the destruction of our coast. We all must work together to make a difference. I plan to host three more events this year where I will encourage the community to come out and get involved.”
For twenty-five years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have been recognizing superb efforts of students and teachers across the country who are continuously working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens “Environmental Excellence Award” provides national recognition, funding and gratitude to support the efforts of this next generation of conservation leaders. Awardees were selected through a nationwide application process coordinated by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Advisory Council.
“I’d love for other kids to become SOLmates and work with me to make the oceans and beaches cleaner and safer. Kids can start SOL chapters in their schools with my help,” added Joey.
For more information visit savingoceanlife.org