Calling all Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassadors!

Three students on a beach look at a clipboard the words NOAA ocean guardian Youth Ambassador imposed over top

The application period for Cohort 2 has closed. The application for Cohort 3 will open in November 2024.

Calling all Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassadors!
Are you a young person passionate about the ocean and the natural environment? Want to become an environmental leader at your school or in your community? Looking for ways to develop the skills you need to engage in conservation opportunities? Apply to the new NOAA Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador Program!

The NOAA Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador program provides a new level of engagement for youth aged 13-18 committed to ocean conservation and stewardship of our blue planet. We are looking for enthusiastic youth with new ideas and a unique perspective who want to learn more about America’s underwater treasures and share their passion with others. Together we will use enhanced ocean and climate literacy to make a difference in the conservation of the ocean through marine protected areas. See the Year in Review to get an idea of the overall priorities, themes, and monthly focus.

Why apply?

Young people from across the United States and its territories can apply to become a NOAA Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador. If accepted, you will gain access to toolkits, presentations, opportunities, and guidance from NOAA scientists, science communicators, and other experts. Youth Ambassadors are part of a nationwide network of young people who share ideas, experiences, and support for ocean conservation and stewardship efforts.

What is the Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador Program?

NOAA Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador Program Logo

The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries creates innovative education and outreach programs that spread awareness of the connection that each individual and community has to the ocean. The NOAA Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador program is the newest method by which we involve youth in ocean conservation and stewardship.

The NOAA Ocean Guardian Youth Ambassador Program will allow the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to…

  • Cultivate, connect, and activate youth changemakers
  • Support a thriving sanctuary system to protect our nation’s underwater treasures
  • Inspire momentum for a healthy ocean amongst the next generation

What is an Ambassador’s role?

collage of youth ambassadors
  • Attend monthly webinars to learn about the National Marine Sanctuary System, threats to the ocean, ocean optimism, NOAA programs and careers, opportunities for engagement, and future leadership programs
  • Lead a project or event at your school or in your own community that supports ocean conservation and stewardship. This could be a beach cleanup, an upcycling workshop, an ocean literacy presentation, a campaign to reduce single-use plastics in local restaurants and schools, tree planting, a social media campaign, or starting your school’s environmental club. Whether you’re located near or far from the ocean, this is a chance to get creative! Ambassadors are encouraged to utilize support from NOAA staff for their project
  • Track progress on your school or community project and how you engage others with ocean conservation
  • Actively engage in discussions with other Ambassadors, post-webinar surveys, and evaluation of program content
  • Check and respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Complete the Climate Resilience in Your Community Activity Book over the course of the program
  • Share your knowledge, passion, and skills with your school or community as an official NOAA Ocean Guardian Ambassador

What will you be able to accomplish?

  • Develop valuable skills, such as time management, leadership, and team-building
  • Develop the skills to be an ocean conservation leader, including climate and ocean literacy, project management, and community outreach
  • Build your knowledge of NOAA, marine protected areas, marine ecosystems, and environmental problems
  • Engage in current ocean conservation and ocean and climate literacy efforts happening in the United States
  • Strengthen your interest in the ocean conservation field
  • Learn about conservation career paths and future opportunities with NOAA
  • Receive support from NOAA staff in a specific area of interest
  • Be part of a youth-led ocean community and build lasting relationships with fellow Ambassadors

Depending on your meeting attendance, completion of evaluation, progress of your stewardship project or event, and other prerequisites, you will earn one of four completion tiers.

Graphic showing the four completion tiers

We’re always looking for environmental leaders who want to learn more about these important issues and how they can help solve them. If you’re passionate about ocean conservation and want to share your voice with your family, friends, classmates, school, and local community, this program is a good fit for you. If you think you’ve got what it takes, apply during the application window. #OceanGuardianYouth

Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us by sending an email to