“I hate the thought of a child from another generation not experiencing the ocean for years to come, and that’s what drives me to continue this work. The connection my father has to the ocean, the connection of my country to the ocean, I am viscerally tied to the ocean” Kristal Ambrose
We’re proud to introduce this month’s Ocean Hero, Kristal Ambrose (AKA Kristal Ocean). Kristal is a Marine Biologist, a 2020 Goldman’s Environmental Prize Winner and a real game changer when it comes to plastic pollution (and trust us, we don’t say that lightly!).
Kristal grew up in the Bahamas, where her love for the Ocean began at a young age, and she studied to become a Marine Biologist. After an encounter with a sick sea turtle that had ingested too much plastic, Kristal’s eyes were opened to the harmful effects of plastic waste on wildlife. A few years on in 2012, Kristal then went on an expedition to study the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which inspired her to spark a plastic pollution revolution at home.
To help develop solutions to plastic pollution and educate youths all around the Bahamas, Kristal founded the non-profit organisation, the Bahamas Plastic Movement, which is geared towards raising awareness and finding solutions to plastic pollution. The Bahamas Plastic Movement’s mission is to build a community of education and activism around plastic pollution, particularly for children where they host 6 day intensive ‘plastic camps’. They are empowering Bahamians to get involved in hands-on citizen science and environmental leadership as well as evolving mindsets that will be pivotal to driving changes at a policy level.
Drawing on the power of youth action, Kristal managed to convince the government of the Bahamas to ban single-use plastic bags, plastic cutlery, straws, and Styrofoam containers and cups, which came into effect in January 2020.
The Bahamas Plastic Movement is funded solely through donations, subsidies and grants. If you would like to support them on their mission, you can donate here. Check out the Ocean Heroes series below and learn more about the amazing work Kristal is doing.