TAMU-CC Students Strive to Protect the World’s Oceans through OceanEcho’s 30×30 Initiative

Alex empowers the youth to unify and work to protect our planet for future generations.

Photo courtesy of Armon Alex.

Alex empowers the youth to unify and work to protect our planet for future generations.

“Ultimately, any damage to our ocean negatively impacts human health and the longevity of a sustainable natural world. We have to work together, if not for the benefit of beautiful biodiverse marine regions, then for protecting larger portions of the ocean for the health of the human race” stated Armon Alex, a Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi student. Alex is a junior science communications & public relations major, who serves as the Vice-Chair of the City of Corpus Christi’s Mayor’s Environmental Task Force.

Alex is passionate about the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 30×30 initiative, which strives to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by the year 2030 through collaborating with national governments and maintaining global health. “The 30×30 initiative is personally important to me because I live in a coastal community. Fundamentally, what happens to our oceans (sea level rise, ocean acidification, drastic weather events or algal blooms) will affect our local marine ecosystems and the quality of life for residents in the Coastal Bend.” 

Alex strives to educate the youth about OceanEcho’s 30×30 initiative to help protect the world’s oceans and to tackle the climate crisis. (Photo courtesy of Armon Alex.)

The 30×30 initiative is co-led by scientists and organizations such as EarthEcho Internationalʼs Youth Leadership Council. By establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), hosting education and advocacy campaigns, actively engaging in ocean policy, and directing marine restoration efforts, the 30×30 initiative hopes to protect the world’s oceans. 

Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, are regions of the ocean that are closely managed in an effort to preserve the health of the natural area. These regions function as tools to safeguard marine ecosystems by restricting behaviors such as human recreational activities, fishing, and pollution to promote ecosystem health separate from external disturbances. “Scientists say that placing at least 30% of our ocean in fully or highly protected MPAs by 2030 is necessary to curtail the extinction of ocean wildlife, stabilize our climate, and ensure a healthy global future” stated Alex.

Alex explained that any TAMU-CC student interested in the 30×30 initiative may visit EarthEcho’s 30×30 website, take simple actions like talking to friends and family to help spread the message of climate change and solutions designed to mitigate its effects, and/or contact politicians to express their support for 30×30. “TAMU-CC students are in a unique position where their educational institution is located on an island. Our voices under a respected university provide us with the ability to take our education and apply it to real world problems where our words can have leverage in conversations around environmental protections” Alex expressed. 

TAMU-CC students involved in the 30×30 initiative educate the youth and empower them to change the planet. “I love how the 30×30 initiative is ultimately being led by scientists and youth activists. The oceans are our missing piece to solving the climate crisis, and the younger generations are the ones dedicated to providing a clean, safe and sustainable future for everyone” stated Maggie Peacock, a junior environmental science major. 

Prior to the launch of the 30×30 initiative, only 2% of the world’s oceans were protected. Currently, more than 7% of the world’s oceans are protected largely due to 30×30’s efforts. To be a part of the solution and to help mitigate the effects of climate crisis, visit OceanEcho’s website at: https://www.earthecho.org/ylc-projects/oceanecho-30×30