We all love sea turtles but unfortunately, six out of seven species of sea turtles are endangered and close to extinction. That’s why Olivia and Carter Ries created One More Generation to raise awareness about ways that we can help preserve and protect these beautiful creatures and oceans. We were so inspired by these two teens that we wanted to find out more! Take a look below to see how they have made a huge difference around the world.
What inspired you to create One More Generation?
When we first heard about wild animals being “adopted”, we asked our Dad what that really meant. He told us that without agencies working hard to protect endangered species, they may become extinct very soon, even within our lifetime! Because we love animals so much (especially sea turtles!), this made us very sad. Right then, we knew we wanted to do more so we decided to see how we could help protect the future of these beautiful animals. ?
After doing a lot of research, we became even more passionate and created One More Generation (OMG) which was designed to help other teens get involved with making a difference in this matter. We thought that “O.M.G.” was the perfect acronym because it evokes the exact emotion we had after learning about all of the animals that are close to extinction. Since starting OMG back in 2009, we have created three main divisions, including Animal Conservation Division, an Environmental Conservation Division and the Youth Empowerment Division.
2. What are some interesting findings that you discovered as you started to research sea turtles?
After partnering with our friends at OCEANA for the Sea Turtle Letter Writing Campaign, we learned that sea turtles are in serious jeopardy. Fishing gear in US waters kill thousands of sea turtles and injure even more each year. Other threats include entanglement in marine debris, pollution, coastal development, poaching, vessel strikes, climate change and predation by invasive species, including humans.
Because of this, we will be going to the White House on June 16th (which is World Sea Turtle Day!) along with our friends at OCEANA to hand-deliver all the thousands of letters we have collected from around the country. Our hopes are that they see how many kids and teens care about saving sea turtles and they make TED’s (Turtle Excluder Devices) mandatory on all shrimping vessels. These devices help keep sea turtles from being trapped and killed. You can learn more at our campaign here.
We recently learned is that fishermen are throwing 64% of what they catch and that is estimated to be about 229 million pounds of wasted dead sea life. This is 4 times the weight of The Statue of Liberty. This horrific term is called Bycatch. By using these TEDs, we can help save 97% more of Sea Turtles every year. That is amazing compared to 50,000 turtles with 0% saving rate.
3. How can other teens get involved? Do you have to live by the ocean to make a difference?
First off, no you do not have to live by the ocean to help make a difference. We all need to get involved because it doesn’t matter where you live, the oceans provide over 50% of the oxygen we breathe. Making sure our oceans remain healthy and all its inhabitants is crucial to our survival.
Here are a few ways you can help:
- Adopt a sea turtle
- Recycle your trash
- Avoid using single-use plastic bags and water bottles
- Join us in writing a letter to the Obama Administration to help mandate TEDs on all shrimping vessels
- Purchase one of PBteen’s Pillows of Purpose to help Oceana continue their helpful research and support to protect endangered animals and our oceans
Now it’s up to YOU! What are you going to do to help save endangered animals and protect our oceans? Show us what steps your taking on Instagram by using #mypbteen for a chance to be featured on our website.
Click here to learn more about One More Generation.
Click here to learn more about Oceana.
Click here to enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win an exclusive Oceana pillow and a pair of sea turtle TOMS!