11-Year-Old Started His Own Nonprofit To Save Our Oceans, And It's Already Cleaned Up 19,000 Pounds Of Trash

"We're nature's warriors."

Connor Berryhill has always loved the ocean, but a family trip to Hawaii transformed his interest into activism. On that trip, 5-year-old Berryhill encountered a wild monk seal and set out to learn as much as he could about the endangered creature. He found out that seals and other ocean animals are often entangled in discarded fishing nets as well as trash leftover from beachgoers. So, he set out to do something about it. 

He started MicroActivist, a certified nonprofit dedicated to connecting youth with the world's oceans and "creating the next generation of ocean warriors." The organization coordinates activities for kids to connect with marine wildlife and learn about some the issues affecting our oceans today. It also has beach cleanup days and produces educational modules on the ocean for classrooms, as well as short films about the ocean and its critters

"It is absolutely amazing what a group of energetic kids can accomplish in a short amount of time!" the MicroActivist site states. "These kids willingly volunteer to pick up what others have left while having a great time. Not for a reward or because someone asked them to, but because it is the right thing to do and they love nature and all its creatures. What started as one little boy's mission to save endangered monk seals has grown into a movement of kids determined to change the fate of the oceans!"

Berryhill, now an 11-year-old, was recently featured in 60 Second Docs, a documentary series that explores people and topics in just one minute. 

"A MicroActivist is a kid who cleans up the ocean," he explained in the video. "My mission is to protect sea creatures in the ocean." 

We'd say he's doing a pretty great job so far considering his progress. "My organization has gotten 19,000 pounds of trash off the beach," Berryhill said. 

He hopes to continue to inspire other kids to become interested in the ocean and marine life as well as encourage them to do what they can to make a positive impact on the environment. "Most kids, they don't care about the ocean," Berryhill said. "But after they meet me? They will."

You can watch Berryhill's 60 Second Docs feature in the video below:

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