Founder Ocean Project
Shalise Leesfield is a 12 year old ocean campaigner who has created her own environmental movement and her mission is to protect marine life by ridding the ocean of plastic debris and discarded fishing line. Shalise has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people in person, online and via the media about how they can help save our oceans from plastic pollution and is taking on the marine world and targeting ocean litter.
Shalise was chosen to host the Australian launch of the EarthEcho ‘Plastic Seas’ Expedition with Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of legendary underwater explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. These online resources are used by schools, teachers and students all over the world showing how young people can work together and help protect our oceans from plastic pollution. Shalise is also a part of EarthEcho's Youth In Action program and a Youth Ambassador for Clean Up Australia Day 2019.
Shalise has recently appeared on two popular Australian TV shows “The Project, Channel 10” and “Behind The News, ABC” where she has been able to spread awareness nationally about this huge environmental issue and she also speaks regularly at schools, expos and festivals. Shalise has also appeared in magazines including Teen Breathe, Total Girl, Womans Day, Junkies Magazine, Teen Sublime (UK), PIP Magazine, Bubbles Magazine (France) and A Green Beauty (New York).
Shalise collected data and worked with the Port Macquarie Council to secure a $77,000 EPA litter grant to address marine litter and discarded fishing line. The project includes educational signage, new fishing tangler collection bins, educational flyers and local engagement with fishers through media to enforce marine litter rules.
This month, Parley TV announced that Shalise has been chosen to represent Australia at the Parley Youth Summit in Hawaii. Parley For The Oceans have chosen three of the strongest youth leaders from Australia to represent the country at this years International Ocean event in August 2019. This Summit is designed for leaders to come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction.
Something Shalise is proud of is that her ocean work has been awarded with a State Honour from the Premier of NSW and the Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams. And on Australia Day this year Shalise was presented with the 2019 Environmental Citizen of the Year award. This award was given to Shalise for her commitment to helping the marinelife and educating people about environmental issues in particular plastic pollution and fishing debris.
Shalise believes young people are inheriting an earth that is damaged and she works really hard to lead and inspire the next generation how to work together to protect our oceans and our planet. Shalise says “us students are growing up in a world that faces some of its biggest environmental challenges ever and we will be the ones living with the consequences of all of the problems the planet is facing.”
Educating and inspiring students to live more sustainably is the best way we can help keep our planet healthy and this will help protect the most precious resource we have, the ocean. Shalise has been doing school talks, expo’s and festivals the past three years and has seen how well the young people have responded to her ocean talks, Shalise believes that education is the key to the future health of the ocean.
Being a global activist is so important to Shalise and she loves spreading the message to as many people as possible all over the world about how we can help save our amazing planet from pollution. She believes that together the youth of today can make it happen, one step at a time. Shalise is proud to be a part of Generation Z and thinks they will be the ones to help change the world, one person at a time. Youth power is the future of our planet!