Supporting the next generation of ocean conservationists
Since launching, it has brought together incredible people, resources, and ideas to tackle local community and environmental challenges. The foundation’s driving vision is to inspire and empower generations of world-changers starting in the beautiful British Virgin Islands.
Unite BVI is the proud founder and sponsor of Unite for the Sea, a free youth programme that sponsors fun, educational water-based activities (such as swimming, snorkelling and diving lessons) - aimed to inspire a love for the ocean and educate the next generation of ocean conservationists in the BVI.
The 2021 programme began in August and for several months guided students through Unite BVI’s virtual programme, full of activities, contests, and ways you can keep the adventure going.
Each year Unite for the Sea focusses on a key conservation theme, which this year revolved around how plastics pollution is affecting ocean health. A supporting theme was about the four species of marine turtles that can be found in BVI waters, and how locals can help protect them by reducing the use of single-use plastic.
"This year's programme was about every individual's impact on the whole. We wanted to create a visceral link between the vulnerability of turtles and the mindless effect of throwing a plastic bag in the trash. Unite for the Sea is a programme that inspires and demonstrates how each one of us is a part of the solution," said Kim Takeuchi, Unite BVI Foundation Manager.
Unite for the Sea has become one of Unite BVI’s flagship programmes and in 2021, to further enhance the offering, the team introduced the ‘Unite for the Sea Ambassador Programme’.
The Ambassador Programme provides a more intensive conservation pathway for youth who have shown a particular interest in learning more about the ocean and how they can help protect it. Candidates demonstrate community leadership characteristics and are enthusiastic about being part of the next generation of ocean conservation advocates.
After engaging with the Unite for the Sea’s virtual educational pieces, Malachi Thomas shared: "I really love the water and I really like to go to the beach. Stop polluting the water and putting garbage in the water. Don't do it for me - do it for the survival of the sea turtles and all of the other sea creatures."
Malachi, and other young ambassadors like him, are developing a deep love for the ocean at a time when conservation in the BVI has never been more essential. The Ambassador Programme offers advanced education opportunities, such as snorkel and dive instruction, delivered in parallel with more extensive conservation theory and practice.
To learn more about Unite for the Sea and the other wonderful ways Unite BVI is supporting young people in the British Virgin Islands visit its website and follow Unite BVI online.
Unite BVI Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation incubated by Virgin Unite with a vision to create opportunities that inspire and empower a generation of world-changers, starting in the beautiful BVI. To learn more about Unite BVI and the work it does to support communities across the BVI please visit the website and get involved.