Unite for the Sea 2023: Inspiring a love for the ocean

Children learning to swim with Unite for the Sea
Unite BVI
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
4 December 2023

Unite for the Sea, Unite BVI’s signature ocean education and conversation programme, celebrated a summer full of activities aimed at inspiring young people to care about the ocean. 

Unite BVI was launched by Virgin Unite and Virgin Limited Edition in 2016 to create new opportunities for communities across the British Virgin Islands. Since its launch, Unite BVI has brought together amazing people, ideas and resources to help tackle local community and environmental challenges. 

The Unite for the Sea programme emphasises BVI-specific conservation issues, teaches kids the difference that they can make, and encourages them to have fun in water-based activities that highlight the importance of protecting the ocean.  

Unite BVI
Unite BVI

More than 500 young people participated in Unite for the Sea’s 2023 programmes, which included: 

  • Four free one-week camp programmes at the HLSCC Centre for Applied Marine Studies. 28 students took part in each programme, learning about boating through rowing in the mornings. Afternoons were spent gaining further knowledge and exposure to water-based activities, including ocean conservation 

  • 100 young children had access to free swimming lessons with Sea Turtle Aquatics & Adventures. It believes that an informed and comfortable swimmer is more willing to explore the sea, enabling them to go on to become better proponents of protecting the marine world 

Unite BVI
Unite BVI
  • More than 50 local youth, who would have been unable to afford to pay for lessons learned how to scuba dive. Learn to dive intro courses were provided for students and 20 pre-teen and teenagers successfully completed the PADI certification 

  • BVI Swim School taught more than 200 children to swim this summer across the BVI, on Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada. The classes also including water safety and ocean education 

Unite BVI
Unite BVI
  • Green Sprouts Swimming facilitated programming for children aged five to 16, with five alumni students obtaining instructor qualifications to staff after-school swim clubs and summer programmes 

  • Grade six children from Francis Lettsome School attended the BVI Watersports Summer Camp 

  • Groundsea Adventures developed surf, swim and basic water safety and comfort skills for children and teens 

This summer the theme was 'The Coral Crisis Then and Now' – a theme integrated into the the Unite for the Sea Ocean Film and Art Festival, which took place in August and helped raise awareness about the current state of coral reefs, their historical significance, and the urgent need for conservation efforts. 

Visit Unite for the Sea and Unite BVI to learn more about their work.