Barbara Russo: 718-265-3428; 917-494-5493;

Max Pulsinelli - 718-220-5182; 571-218-7601;

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

WCS’S New York Aquarium Holds Ocean Summit for Teens

Brooklyn, N.Y. – April 21, 2016 – ATTACHED PHOTO Teens took part in the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit at WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) New York Aquarium. The event was held to inspire teens to become interested and active in marine conservation issues, empower them to write and implement their own action plans that support marine conservation, and learn about STEM careers.

Approximately 70 students from local schools participated in the event. The students learned about marine and science careers and the important process of ocean planning. They spent time observing various aquarium professionals including trainers, educators, and divers. They were also inspired by the keynote speaker, Dr. Ainissa Rimirez, a Science Evangelist and Materials Scientist who spoke about increasing diversity in STEM careers.

Part of the summit took place on the beach, where teens participated in the Ocean Planning Game, organized by scientists from WCS’s NY Seascape program. The teens were assigned a role as either ocean wildlife or a human activity (commercial and recreational fishing, shipping, scientific research) and then given a set of prompts about their motivations/actions/threats in the busy waters off New York.  Over the course of two rounds, the teens learned about how many threats to wildlife exist in the ocean, and how ocean planning, improved coordination and collaboration can protect wildlife and support sustainable ocean uses. 

The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit was created by Sean Russell, Founder and Director of the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, in 2011 to provide youth participants with the opportunity to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally. This annual event also teaches participants about the ways other youth are currently working to protect marine ecosystems, and then allows them to work with their peers to develop action plans for their own ocean conservation projects. Workshops offered at the summit allow participants to gain the skills necessary to successfully implement conservation projects, teach participants about career opportunities in marine conservation, and expose them to opportunities they can take part in to help protect our planet's oceans and their inhabitants. Satellite summits (like the YOCS NYC) are happening throughout the year in cities across the country.

Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium is open every day of the year. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fall/winter/spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Tickets are $11.95 per person (ages 3 & up), and include Aquarium admission plus one admission to the new 4-D Theater; children age 2 and under are admitted free. Fridays after 4 p.m. in the summer and after 3 p.m. in the fall, Aquarium admission is by pay-what-you-wish donation. Last entry is one hour before closing. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island.  The New York Aquarium is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the WCS New York Aquarium, a beloved part of Brooklyn and all of the City of New York. Due to Hurricane Sandy we are partially opened. Check our website for more information.

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.