Sean Russell, Stow It-Don’t Throw It

As a 5th generation Floridian, Sean Russell has always been fascinated by the connection between marine ecosystems and their inhabitants.

While working as part of the Mote Marine Laboratory’s high school intern program, Sean personally experienced the devastation that improper disposal of fishing lines has on dolphins in Sarasota Bay. Drawing on his growing commitment to marine conservation, Sean developed a personal-sized fishing line recycling bin, made from recycled tennis ball containers.

Eventually, Sean’s passion for marine conservation inspired him to reach out to others through Stow It-Don’t Throw It, a youth-driven marine debris prevention and ocean conservation project. Through his program Sean provides resources to engage students in fishing line recycling and debris prevention while training them to launch their own projects through an annual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit.

Currently the project has inspired students in 10 states to assemble and distribute over 17,000 personal-sized fishing line recycling bins. With the funding he receives from The Pollination Project, Sean plans to help students create their own conservation groups in new areas of the country, translate his educational materials into Spanish, and begin organizing for the 2015 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (scheduled for November 14 at Mote Marine Laboratory).

For more information, please follow Stow It-Don’t Throw It on Twitter, Facebook, or their website.

2015 YOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL GRANT RECIPIENT in Partnership With Levi Strauss & Co.