Community grants program
Supporting our COMMUNITY
After Chasing Coral was released, our team, in collaboration with many other partners, launched the Chasing Coral Campaign. We went all over the world engaging folks in conversation about the threats our oceans are facing and had some pretty cool outcomes! Now that the campaign has ended, we want to support you in your efforts to start conversations and facilitate action for climate justice all over the world, so in 2022 we launched the pilot round of the Chasing Coral Community Grants Program. Through these grants, we hope to support the work of frontline organizers, grassroots groups, students, parents, teachers, and anyone who has an idea that promotes climate justice and education. We’re so inspired by the applications we’ve received and we can’t wait to see what else this community comes up with!
Meet the grantees
Coral Woman tells the story of Uma, a homemaker from Tamil Nadu who was inspired by corals to “learn how to swim, dive & paint in her 50s” in order to raise awareness about the threats corals are facing in India. Since the release of the documentary, the team has been working on their impact campaign. In November 2021, they kicked off an artist residency, made up of a team of 3 artists, a community representative, diver, researchers, impact producer, and film director as a part of there campaign. This group worked together to design 2 identical sculptures, one on land and one under water, which they call “Silent Scream”. The idea behind the art is to use one as an artificial reef in the waters of Goa, India, and for the second sculpture to be made entirely of marine trash and displayed on land as a reminder to the community of what we’ve done to our oceans and what we have the power to do now. The artists are now working on the land sculpture and engaging the public in their conservation campaign. Check out their social media channels and stay tuned for updates!
Alexa Simeone is a National Geographic Certified Educator and founder of the Lele Art Lab, “an outdoor art studio that helps students become ocean advocates by participating in arts-based environmental education”. The Lab does all sorts of art-based projects and the Community Grants Program is supporting their newest project: Sea.Me. Sea.Me. is a mobile art cart, almost totally made of trash collected from the ocean. Based in Pompano Beach, Alexa and her team hope to take the mobile art cart around to various schools and neighborhoods to inspire kids and adults alike to protect our oceans through art and collaboration. Check out Sea.Me. here as well as her most recent publication, a guidebook of creative project ideas to engage young folks in exploration and education.
Diving into the synthetic Sea
Since its conception in 2014, Sustainable Ocean Alliance “has built the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders and supported innovative startups, nonprofits, and grassroots campaigns dedicated to solving the greatest threats facing our planet.” The idea behind the organization is to bring together ocean entrepreneurs in hopes of supporting their work, which is where our grantee, Khadija Stewart, comes in. Khadija is SOA’s regional representative from the Caribbean and is spearheading an initiative in Trinidad and Tobago called “Under the Synthetic Sea”, wherein footage of trash in and near the ocean will be captured and used to create an exhibit that will then inspire young people to take action and tackle the plastic pollution problem in their communities. You can read more about her work here!
Reef Relief is a conservation organization based in Florida that aims to “improve public understanding and support of coral reef, ocean and coastal issues, and initiatives” through outreach, education, and community engagement. This Chasing Coral Community Grant will go toward their overall conservation program which includes school programs, a summer camp for kids, a newsletter to inform visitors and residents about our changing oceans, stormwater education program, and even more crucial programs in Florida. Check out their website for more information!
Project Flourish, a community initiative that creates space for children and families to connect with each other and the food around them. Alicia Garcia is a plant-forward chef and a mother, among many other things, and through teaching her children about where their food comes from through nature, she discovered that “nature made learning easy and tangible, truly organically, Project Flourish was born.” Project Flourish offers classes, gatherings, and provisions with an emphasis on wellness, food literacy, & sustainability. Her workshops and summer camps offer an opportunity for kids to connect with their local food systems, making their ecosystems personal and encouraging environmental stewardship in children and families. Check out her website here!