The ocean is home to countless species. But that diversity of life is vulnerable to climate change, pollution, and overfishing.

Daniela Fernandez was horrified when she learned about these threats. She was in college and wanted her generation to make a difference, so she launched the Sustainable Ocean Alliance in 2014.

“It started by being a community of young people wanting to do something for the ocean,” she says. “And in these projects, there were a lot of young people that had ideas for creating revenue-generating companies that would make money, of course, but also help support and protect our ocean.”

So after graduation, Fernandez decided to move to Silicon Valley and expand the nonprofit. It now helps secure mentorship, funding, and connections for companies working on ocean solutions.

For example, it’s worked with a startup that builds drones that collect climate change data. Another grows coral for reef restoration projects.

“We are helping these entrepreneurs and these young leaders not feel alone in a world that sometimes can be isolating for social entrepreneurs that aren’t in the business of simply making money, but that actually want to contribute to a better future for our environment and for humanity,” Fernandez says.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

Molly Matthews Multedo

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, Molly Matthews Multedo is the founding director of Acquazul, a nonprofit that creates multilingual broadcast and digital media on social and environmental issues...