Blue Hatchling Youth Award Finalists:
Recognizes a person under age 17 who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer related activities.
Miles Fetherston-Resch - St. Petersburg, Florida
Miles Fetherston-Resch is the 8 year old Founder and CEO of Kids Saving Oceans.
Two years ago, Miles was watching Shark Week and became concerned about how we are treating are oceans and wanted to do something to help. His company sells hats, shirts, stickers, and accessories all made out of recycled or sustainable materials and donates all of the proceeds to organizations that help the oceans. Miles’ goal is to raise $1,000,000 by the time he is 18 for ocean conservation groups. To date, he has donated over $15,000 to groups like Mission Blue, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Force Blue, and The Surfrider Foundation.
Since starting Kids Saving Oceans in 2018, Miles has given nearly 30 talks to local community, political, and school groups, organized 25+ beach and estuary cleans ups for kids of all ages, and talked to local, regional, and national politicians about ways they can do better for our oceans, beaches, and sea life. He met with the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in Washington, DC to talk about the impact our warming oceans are having on marine life. Miles worked with Shark Allies and Oceana on the Florida bill to ban the awful shark fin trade, and met with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to advocate for it’s passage.
In May, Miles also became a published author – co-writing Kids Saving Oceans: Olivia Makes a Difference. It is a story inspired by the origins of Kids Saving Oceans and is a powerful reminder that one person’s choice to do better, multiplied by a lot of people, makes a BIG difference. Because of his work and accomplishments, Miles was recognized in January with the 2020 SeaWorld Environmental Excellence Award and has been named the 2020 Oceana Junior Ocean Champion.
Other accomplishments this year that Miles is particularly proud of:
•A speaker and presenter at Synapse Summit where he encouraged business owners from around the country to consider their business’ impact on our oceans and planet.
•An accepted speaker at EarthX2020 in Dallas (unfortunately cancelled for 2020).
•In November, Miles competed against five other start-up companies in the inaugural St. Pete Pitch Night and won the $5,000 first prize from the judge’s panel of business and community leaders.
Miles may only be 8, but he is a leader in our community, a passionate advocate for our oceans, and is making big change with his words and his donations across our world. Miles is an excellent candidate for the 2020 Blue Hatchling Youth Award.
Miles Fetherston-Resch - 2nd Nomination
Miles Fetherston-Resch is a local and statewide ocean hero. This 8 year old kid is incredible! I met him at an event and he is truly incredible.
Miles raises money for ocean non profit groups. He does this by selling the most adorable designs on shirts and hats and stickers. I know he has made large donations to many organizations. (You should think of partnering with him, he does have the most adorable sea turtle design).
Miles is an excellent speaker. Even at 8, he is probably the most inspiring speaker I have heard. He traveled to DC to meet with politicians to save our oceans. He has organized at least 20 beach cleans ups and also helped organize a water hyacinth removal.
This kid is an absolute force and is completely deserving of this award. He wrote a book - get yourself a copy! It is amazing and wonderful and has inspired my grandchildren to save our oceans. They want to be just like Miles. They are 3 and 5 and are turning into ocean advocates. They believe they can because Miles has told them they can.
He has been in the local news and won national awards for his work!
Ella Grace Galaski-Rossen - Ajax, Ontario
Ella has always been captivated by the ocean. As a young toddler, watching ocean documentaries and nature shows was all she wanted to do. Bedtime stories were always books about sharks, and playtime was pretending what it would be like to be deep under the waves of the ocean. As Ella grew it was obvious her love for the ocean and all of its life below the waves was only getting stronger. Trips to the ocean involved spending as much time observing the small animals on the beach as possible and
picking up trash that could hurt these animals. This love grew, as did her knowledge about what the oceans and planet were facing. Ella took a strong interest in plastic pollution, climate change and anything else threatening the lives of the ocean and its animals. What started small, with local waterway, park and beach cleanups, quickly grew into a full-time interest to help make other people aware of what our planet is facing. Ella began to speak to children in classrooms, helping educate them about how plastic is choking the ocean, how everyone can make a difference, and simple alternatives to single use plastics. Ella was asked to be a featured speaker at a Sea Shepherd Toronto event at the age of 7. As people listened to this tiny girl speak about the devastation that the shark finning industry is having on shark populations, to plastic choking the seas there wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t touched by her passion and her understanding of how crucial the health of our oceans is to the survival of life on land. After finding so many of the same single use plastics while doing her clean ups, Ella decided to start a not for profit and sell sustainable and reusable items locally and donate the proceeds to Ocean conservation. Through her sales of bamboo toothbrushes, reusable water bottles, stainless steel straws and bamboo cutlery she has been able make donations to several ocean conservation groups, while raising awareness, and helping eliminate single use plastics, and continues to do so. Over the past several years Ella has spoken out publicly about the injustice of cetacean captivity and attended several demonstrations to show support for the “Empty the Tanks” movement. Her involvement in this led her to actively participate in helping bring awareness and ultimately the successful passing of Canadian Bill S-203 to ban the captivity and breeding of Cetaceans in Canada this spring. Ella was also active in bringing awareness and helping raise public support alongside the late Rob Stewart’s foundation Team Sharkwater, for the Canadian Bill that has now banned the Import and Export of Shark Fins in Canada. Ella is proud to have been featured in several documentaries about Ocean Conservation, including the soon to be released Fighting for Sunshine by Florida’s own Wilson McCourtney. She addresses the issues of plastic pollution, overfishing, shark finning and the Red Tide. Her next adventure will be heading around the world to continue filming in the feature film Oceana, and for the Warner Brothers Produced series “Unexplored”, where she will help protect coral reefs, educate children about what is happening with the ocean, and most importantly, teaching others to protect and love the Ocean as much as she does. Most recently Ella was selected out of hundreds of youth to attend the Ocean Heroes Bootcamp, for youth leading as example on the fight against plastic pollution. Ella was the youngest child attending, having just turned 9 years old. There, the youth were encouraged to keep up their efforts as environmental activists and given tools to help spread their message even further. Ella recently was given the incredible opportunity to learn to scuba dive with her friend and conservationist, Jim Abernethy. While on her first shallow dive at Blue Heron Bridge, she fell deeper in love with the ocean. When she surfaced from that first dive, with plastic trash she found in hand, everyone knew she was hooked. Ella has continued to run community shoreline trash clean ups, as well has become part of the global youth movement that is climate striking to show our elected officials that youth demand climate action to help protect their future. Climate action is currently Ella’s major focus, as she understands that time is not on our side, and the climate crisis is threatening what she loves most. The ocean, and everything in it. With mentors and heroes like Jim Abernethy, Filipe DeAndrade, Rob Stewart and Sylvia Earle, Ella has said she plans to pursue Oceanography and underwater film making so she can help share and protect the Ocean with, and for future generations
Ryan Moralevitz - Palm Harbor, Florida
I have nominated Ryan for this award because he has shown a continued and growing passion and dedication to preserve the ocean and all it’s amazing creatures. He is currently on his ninth year of helping the ocean with his project, The Fishes Wishes. His goal is to continue to inspire and motivate our future generations to help the ocean too.
Over the years Ryan has organized beach cleanups and removed hundreds of pounds of trash that otherwise would have ended up in our ocean. In addition, he has raised over $10,000.00 which he donated to various conservation organizations. Through grants he has obtained, he and his dedicated volunteers planted thousands of sea oats and mangroves to help with local beach erosion.
In 2012, Ryan, at 6-years-old, wrote and illustrated his book titled Puffy the Pufferfish Saves the Ocean. His book is in several libraries across the country and in Canada and Iceland.
In 2017 Ryan was given permission by his school to help coordinate an Ocean Conservation summer camp. It was well-attended and so much fun. The kids made microfilament disposal tubes out of old tennis cans through the Stow It-Don’t Throw It Project. There was also an ocean trash trivia cleanup and waterslide game, fossilized shark tooth mining with tooth identification, a mobile gaming truck featuring the game Endless Ocean, a surprise appearance by the Tampa Bay Rays mascot with photos, and so much more. All the snacks he planned were sea-themed and served with environmentally friendly utensils and paper straws. In addition, he started a volunteer list to help with future events.
In conjunction with the summer camp Ryan held an online auction. He called or emailed several companies and through his efforts he garnered donations from companies including Tiffany Jewelers, Adidas Corporation, Guy Harvey Foundation, Bote Boards, Bloomin’ Brands and so many more. He also was able to obtain autographed books by Pout-Pout Fish Author Deborah Diesen. Due to the auction, the Fishes Wishes was able to donate $2,000.00 to The Stow It-Don’t Throw It Organization. The money was used for mini-grants to go towards youth-lead ocean conservation projects.
In 2018 The Fishes Wishes made some sea-themed Halloween and Day of the Dead keychains. Ryan made themed keychains like the Goblin Shark, vampire squid, amber-jack-o-lantern, ghost shrimp and more. He and his friends sold the keychains at a locally popular day of the dead festival and raised an additional $200.00.
At the end of 2018 Ryan started to make sculptures out of one-time use plastic and beach trash found locally. His friend Enzo (his friend and a fellow ocean conservationist) worked with Ryan to clean up the beaches and collect unusual pieces of trash that worked perfectly for him to create his one of a kind "trash to treasure" ocean themed sculptures.
After securing a bunch of beach trash Ryan cleaned the pieces and then started to assemble his sculptures. A local restaurant heard about his mission and asked if he would like to have a sculpture unveiling. He was delighted at the opportunity and worked with the owner of the restaurant to help plan the event. There was live music and various ocean organizations came out to help support the event. The groups attending were Clearwater Marine Aquarium, O.N.E. (Ocean Needs Everyone), Ocean Allies and Auburn Supply group. To raise more money, Ryan went into every local restaurant and shop and requested donations of gift certificates and items from ocean-friendly companies. He held a raffle and silent auction at the sculpture unveiling and raised $1,200.00 which was donated to the Ocean Conservancy.
Last year Ryan completed a lighted anglerfish sculpture out of ocean plastic. The Ocean Conservancy asked him to submit his work as an artist. He was accepted as an artist and his angler was displayed in the Ocean Conservancy’s booth inside the Environmental Village at the NFL Live Super Bowl LIV in Miami. In addition, he and his friends Enzo and Sebastien worked together to create a large football sculpture. The sculpture design concept was submitted to the NFL and it was approved. The sculpture was placed in the lobby of the Super Bowl NFL experience at the Miami Convention Center. Ryan was able to attend both events and spoke with people about the importance of keeping trash out of our oceans. In addition, he did a beach cleanup while he was there.
Over the last two years, Ryan has been working on a sequel to his first book. What makes this book different is that, in addition to continuing the Puffy the Pufferfish saga, he was able to interview several influential ocean conservationists, authors and artists and those interviews will be included in the sequel. Ryan also decided to use his award money to design a stuffed animal in the likeness of the main character, Puffy. He worked to choose the right colors, positioning of the fins and to get the measurements just how he envisioned. His goal is to be able to donate a lot of money from the sales of his book and plushy. He got this idea remembering how much he had liked stuffed animals when he was younger so he thinks they will appeal to a wide range of children. His hope is to reach a broader demographic and to inspire others to help keep our oceans clean. Additionally, Barnes and Noble in Clearwater has invited him back for a second book signing once his book is complete. The book and pufferfish will be available in February 2021 on his tenth-year anniversary of helping the ocean.
Ryan’s continued dedication and love of the ocean is evident in his volunteer history, the films he writes and the speeches he gives. He routinely speaks in front of audiences in the hopes of inspiring future ocean conservationists. He treasures his time spent speaking about his passion and appreciates everyone’s willingness to hear his message.
I appreciate you allowing me to nominate him for this award.
Alexandra Spoto - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Alexandra is working on raising awareness on recycling and a common recycling standard that is consistent in the United States. Have each municipality have its own rules is confusing and if we can reduce confusion and raise awareness we can increase recycling. Her ambition and passion for the waterways is steadfast through her beach clean ups, marine science program participation and most recently her ocean hero summer camp experience. She is dedicated to growing her instagram and educating others on this most important subject of protecting what you love for the future. Her organization lidsoff.org is making strides in these important subjects and has grown. She hopes to help reverse water pollution from plastic and global warming from plastic in our oceans and waterways.