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February 2, 2010

Oceana U: Report from Connecticut College

Last semester (for those of you who still think in those terms), I started working with a young and dedicated oceans advocate at Connecticut College. Check out her story below:

Hi! My name is Olivia and I’m a sophomore at Connecticut College. I’m from Newport Beach, California and was fortunate enough to be introduced to the remarkable work that Oceana does to protect our oceans. 

I was so shocked by how little I knew about the devastating statistics and lack of governmental enforcement to protect the sea creatures that are very close to extinction, so I felt a need to find a way to participate. After volunteering for their Sea Change event in Laguna Beach, I contacted a member of Oceana about starting a college branch. I was the first student to approach them with this idea and they were very excited to get started!

In October 2009, Melissa Groher and I got the Oceana club passed by our school board, received a budget and found a group of very intelligent and active members. Some are studying zoology or marine science; all are environmentally aware and want to make a difference. 

Our first attempt to help Oceana spread awareness about the oceans was to conduct a fundraiser. We made posters of facts to put up all around campus, baked cookies with the sea turtle cookie cutter, and raised money through the stuffed animals for the “Adopt-A-Sea Creature” Campaign. 

We were able to complete all of this the week before finals and raised $110 in 3 days of fundraising. I was amazed to see how much people were willing to donate and learn about the harmful practices used by fisheries. 

For our first fundraiser, I am really pleased with how much we raised for such a small campus and on such short notice. We will definitely have another fundraiser in the spring; along with many other ways we can spread awareness. We may only be a bunch of college students but we have been given the opportunity to really make a difference for our health and a chance to help the oceans flourish.”


It has been great to work with Olivia, getting out the Oceana message on a grassroots level. Keep up the good work, Connecticut College Wavemakers!