Millennium Oceans Prize

"We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about - farming replacing hunting." — Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer

The state of our oceans and freshwater systems is in peril. 500 million people depend on the fishing industry for their livelihoods, and over 2 billion people depend on seafood as their main or only source of protein. Overfishing, pollution and unsustainable practices are endangering these livelihoods and food security. 

Communities from the Lobstermen of Maine, to the Usipa harvesters of Malawi, rely on fish for sustenance, income and community. Now, almost 30% of fisheries worldwide are depleted/over-exploited and 60% are already exploited to capacity. We are counting on young people everywhere to change these trends. 

The Millennium Oceans Prize celebrates youth activism advancing Marine and Freshwater conservation, and sustainable use of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and marine resources. This is reflected in the proposed United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14. The Prize and Campaign it enables is supported by The Millennium Campus Network and the Remmer Family Foundation

What we are looking for: We are looking for campaign ideas that are concrete and can rally your peers to mobilize in this sector. How can you engage youth leaders on other campuses and in communities across the globe to champion advocacy and leadership for the oceans, freshwater systems, sustainable fishing, and marine conservation?

"Nobody, no matter whether an envioronmental advocate, a scientist, or a fisherman, will tell you that the oceans are what they were 10 years ago, 20 years ago, even...the abundance is just simply not there anymore." — Edward Norton, actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity

Prize: The best part of this prize is the opportunity to cultivate a community of peers who care just as much about the oceans and marine resources as you do. Here are the specifics:

  • $5,000 for the winning campaign
  • Recognition at the Global Campaigns keynote at MCC16 at Howard University
  • Co-curate campaign action groups, mobilizing and coordinating with peers who are passionate about SDG 14 at MCC16
  • Write for our media partners about your campaign during MCC16
  • Co-curate global webinars with the MCN and the Remmer Family Foundation during the academic year to keep peers engaged and involved.

Criteria and Timeline:

  • By July 1st (early submissions strongly encouraged): Submit your campaign idea during your delegate application process
  • By July 1st: For your idea to be considered over the summer, you must have been accepted and registered as a delegate at MCC16 at Howard University. Win or lose, your involvement is integral to the success of this movement!
  • Early August: Prize winner selected
  • August 1-5: Prize Winner launches and co-curates campaign action groups
  • August 1-5: Millennium Oceans Prize Winner formally recognized in front of all delegates at MCC16 at Howard University
  • September-April 2017: Campaign is in action. All delegates and Millennium Fellows with passion for this sector are involved via on-campus action and global webinars
  • Summer/Fall 2017: Campaign results shared at MCC17

What is at stake: