Why Ocean Literacy is important to reinforce in schools/ colleges and communities to enhance Ocean conservation and marine pollution mitigation



Elsie Gabriel [India] Ambassador for India Ocean Quest, Co Founder Ocean School, Founder, Young Environmentalists Programme Trust, National Coordinator Oceans Climate Reality Project India
The goal of ocean literacy initiatives is important to enable behavior change where citizens take direct and sustainable action to achieve sustainable solutions to marine environment issues. With over 15 years of experience in environmental and ocean education Elsie has been educating the students, communities with focus on the next generation. Elsie is working with Ocean Communities as Agents of change and has dived in over 23 global ocean sites like Galapagos, Malapascuya, Maldives, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Bahamas, Andamans, Lakshadweep and Australia researching the same.

Mark Rausch [USA]
Passion for diving and leadership describe the values of Mark Rausch. As a source director trainer for the Handicap Scuba Association (HSA), Mark travels globally putting the HSA program into the lives of others, so they, in turn, can enrich the lives of other individuals with a disability through diving. Sharing the HSA program with other divers fills the void from the loss of his youngest son, Robert passing from cystic fibrosis. This loss caused Mark to realize all he wanted to do for the rest of his life was help others with disabilities, and globally sharing the HSA program became his mission.

Matt Wenger [Switzerland]
With twenty years as a PADI Pro under his belt, Swiss-made Matt Wenger is coming into his fourth year as the PADI Regional Manager for the Maldives. Having first set foot in the island nation in 2008 as the dive centre manager for Anantara Dhigu, Veli and Naladhu, and later working for the Park Hyatt brand, PADI Course Director and Examiner Matt has a long history with the country. Since his return in 2016 as PADI Regional Manager, Matt has overseen the steep growth in PADI’s reach in the Maldives, across both luxury resorts and emerging local island destinations. Matt is passionate about keeping a commitment to the environment at the core of everything. PADI represents in the Maldives and is dedicated to implementing PADI’s four “Pillars of Change”.