Volunteer Niamh Byrne beach cleaning

Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award

Know someone under-18 who's done something amazing for our ocean?

Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award

Launched in 2020, the Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award is a celebration of young people who've done incredible things to protect, recover, and share appreciation of our ocean.

Who is it for?

You can nominate yourself or someone you know, but you or they must be under-18. Nominees should be individuals rather than groups or schools, and the reason for nomination should relate to the last 12 months. The award will be divided into two categories: under 12s and 13-18 year olds.


How do I nominate?

Nominations opened on International Youth Day on 12th August and will close on Sunday 17th October. Use the form at the bottom of this page to tell us a bit about the nominee, and include the incredible thing/s they've done to look after our seas in the last year. You can include supporting evidence (images, documents, links to videos or websites), but please ensure you have the nominee's consent to share images or videos of them.

Seagrass near Weymouth Georgie Bull

Credit: Georgie Bull

What are we looking for?

Our judges will be focusing on the following criteria:

  • Is the achievement or project marine focused?
  • Did the achievement or project take place in the last year?
  • What's the scale of the impact the nominee has made?
  • Are they engaging others to take action for marine conservation? Are they involved in multiple projects?
  • How much time has been dedicated?
  • Are there future plans for the achievement or project?
  • Is this their own initiative? Is it innovative?
  • Has the nominee engaged with any of MCS's campaigns or projects?
Sponge crab Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds MCZ, Norfolk, Samantha Bean.jpg

Credit: Samantha Bean

What happens next?

We'll be in touch to let you know that your nomination has been received and whether we require any further information. Nominations will close on 17th October and our two winners then chosen by our judging panel, which will include our CEO, Sandy Luk.

Our shortlisted nominees and the winner will all be invited to our annual AGM, where both winners will be be announced live. All nominees will receive a certificate, and our winners will receive glass trophies.

Common Starfish Loch Sween Scotland Mark Kirkland

Credit: Mark Kirkland

Got someone in mind?

Use our nomination form at the bottom of this page to put someone forward for the award. If you have any trouble with the form, get in touch at [email protected]

Good luck!

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