Ocean Steward:  D'amy Steward

 

Growing up in the beach community of Coronado, CA, D’amy Steward learned to sail at a young age and has been involved with ocean conservation her entire life.  She serves as an Ambassador for Sailors for the Sea and as a member of the Earth Echo’s Youth Leadership Council. D’amy attends Duke University where she is studying to become a marine biologist. Nothing would make her happier than to have every person who visits her website commit to picking up three pieces of trash every day.   

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did you. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

Welcome! I am excited and proud to announce the launch of Ocean Steward, and I am so glad you are here. My name is D’amy Steward, and I became involved with ocean conservation after a high school version of SEA Semester with Sea Education Association (SEA) aboard the tall ship, SSV Robert C. Seamans, following my freshman year in high school.  We sailed down the coast of California starting in Sausalito sailing through the Golden Gate Bridge, then through the Channel Islands ending in Catalina at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center. Throughout the trip, we conducted experiments over the side of the rail, one of which was a net tow. In every single net tow, we collected plastic. From microscopic bits to hose reels, my eyes were opened to the magnitude of the pressing issue of plastic pollution. It pained and angered me to see all the garbage. Upon my return I was determined to find a way to make a difference and take action. I have been a sailor my entire life and have raced competitively around the country. I began noticing at regattas a logo that would appear on banners and water bottles we were given. I decided to research the logo. After a brief Google search I learned Sailors for the Sea is a non-profit organization based in Newport, Rhode Island, that is dedicated to educating the boating communities about plastics pollution and ocean conservation. I contacted them and offered to be a person on the ground at regattas.  I was appointed the first West Coast Ambassador and began speaking at yacht club dinners, regattas, and schools helping to spread the message for Sailors for the Sea. My message was a simple three prong plan: 1) Pick up three pieces of trash every day, 2) use reusable water bottles, and  3) convince your friends to do the same — a plan that was easy to remember and not too much to ask. Fast forward a few years, I am now a member of the Youth Leadership Council for EarthEcho — an organization run by Jacque Cousteau’s grandchildren. EarthEcho strives to inspire youth to take actions toward a sustainable future. It is my goal to create an organization and website that makes it easy for people to find ways to get involved by synergizing the efforts and projects of various conservation organizations. Hence, the double entendre of this website:  "Ocean Steward."  I seek to bring together like-minded people who want to make a difference and join the movement to help save our oceans. Man and the oceans are inextricably linked. It is our responsibility to help protect our waters. I hope you find this website useful and become an Ocean Steward. While ONE can make a difference, MANY can make an ocean of difference. 

- D'amy Steward