This organization is teaching kids about ocean conservation with help from mermaids

With lower-income school systems experiencing cuts and defunding of their ocean education and field trip programs, the next generation needs outside help when it comes to learning what they can do to protect our oceans. Fortunately for said school systems, Mermaids For Change — an organization dedicated to teaching kids about ocean conservation — is stepping up to the plate.

Mermaids For Change was founded by radio co-host and executive producer Crissy Whalin, and underwater, nature, and fashion photographer Chiara Salomoni. Both women are passionate about protecting the ocean environment and educating others about the importance of doing so.

Their organization raises ocean conservation awareness in two ways. The first being by way of kids’ education and field trips.

Whalin and Salomoni provide students, particularly in low-income areas, with an in-class educational presentation. They start by showing the kids the amazing amount of animals living in their oceans, animals which are therefore impacted by human-produced waste. Then the team breaks down what the kids can do to reduce plastic usage and waste in their homes.

"We keep it simple," Whalin told HelloGiggles. "We suggest things like asking their parents to pass on plastic straws whenever possible, making reusable water bottles/drink bottles a part of their everyday, and even reusing coffee lids if their parents frequent the same place each day and haven't yet purchased a travel mug."

When the funds are there, Mermaids For Change also offers field trip opportunities for the kids, so they can go to the beach and participate in a beach cleanup.

The mermaids come into play via celebrity and influencer photoshoots. Salomoni shoots gorgeous underwater photos of said influencers in mermaid attire or flowy fashion. Each shoot tells a story about a certain ocean-related plight or concern.

"For instance," Whalin wrote, "a shoot with a beautiful mermaid playing with what at first appears to be beautiful jellyfish but upon closer inspection are actually plastic bags floating...represents what animals like the sea turtles see and mistake as their food."

Most of the Mermaids For Change photoshoots involve children. Whalin said that it’s the organization’s main motive to inspire the youth to care about oceanic life. The beautiful mermaid imagery helps to pique their curiosity, Whalin explained.

Everyday mer-people can book their own Mermaids For Change photoshoot as well.

The organization travels around the country on tour, offering these shoots, and uses the funds collected to pay for their travel to another school where kids want to learn about ocean conservation.

The photoshoot experience is the same for us regular people as it for celebrities, so it’s truly an unforgettably enjoyable experience. You can book your own shoot through the Mermaids For Change website.

If you’d like to donate to the Mermaids For Change cause, you can do so on their website. Your donation goes toward the education and field trip program. When the program is not in session, your donation will be given to marine conservation organization Keiko Conservation.

Head over to the Mermaids For Change site to learn how you can get involved, to purchase prints or mermaid attire, and to learn more about the organization’s mission statement. Whalin and Salomoni are truly making waves in the ocean conservation and education world, and they’re inspiring kids to care about the deep blue sea.