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An Interview with Ellie Jones: Creator of Ocean Everblue

by Christa Huddleson

What is Ocean Everblue?

“Ocean Everblue is an outreach organization in its second year. We focus on educating and informing our audience about the ocean and climate change. We take scientific research and present it to our followers in a way they can understand. Our audience is mainly those who are passionate about helping our oceans and planet. We mostly use social media to access our audience because the internet is the best place to spread a message and a wonderful way to share information,” said Ellie Jones, creator of Everblue.

“We want to start having things be more face-to-face and get out into the community and spread our message. We just attended a conference on the Oregon Coast with organizations such as Surfrider to discuss cleaning up beaches and how we can take legislative action to reduce plastic in our beaches and oceans.”

How were you inspired to start this organization?

“I feel as if this project is something that I have been leading up to for a while, since I was twelve years old saying to myself that I wanted to study the ocean. I have been cleaning up beaches for as long as I can remember. Nothing really came of it until I started studying marine biology. Then in winter of 2017 I realized I could actually do something with this. I came up with a plan for further educating people about ocean awareness and really having a platform for people to understand the science behind what is happening to our oceans, something I have been and will always be passionate about.”

“I would not be able to do half the things I do without my team,” she said. Ocean Everblue is made up of a team of 20 people from various professions and backgrounds. It includes marine biologists, graphic designers, journalists, fisherman and more. One of Ocean Everblue's main goals is to provide readers with lifestyle tips that are easily applicable to everyday life.

“The tips are a way for people to feel like they are actually able to make a small change in their life. We want to provide a way for people to work on something in their own life and tips on plastic reduction and alternatives is a great way to start that conversation with our audience through social media,” she said.

How does Ocean Everlue strive to reduce plastic in our oceans?

“Our main focus as a group is the reduction of plastics in our ocean because it is the most prevalent problem we see in our oceans. I have been cleaning up beaches and have seen the effects on animals and coral and the fishing industry- which directly affects those of us who consume seafood. The issue is a lot more complicated than we realize and there are lots of parts to the plastic issue. Including the fact that often times, alternatives to plastic can actually be more harmful to the environment. We strive to educate people on those issues with alternatives. I really want people to be able to understand the scientific information that is coming out today so they can understand what is happening to our oceans which have a profound effect on humans.”

What does the future of Everblue look like?

“I will be taking at least 2 years off after graduation to work on Everblue to get it to be what I really want it to be. I am currently taking nonprofit and grant writing classes and want to increase the presence of Ocean Everblue.”

“We also want to reach the audiences that don’t already agree with us- those who might disagree with climate change and those who don’t live near the ocean. Landlocked states often don’t think about the effects of sea level rise or plastics on their beaches because they don’t live near an ocean. So we strive to figure out a way to reach those people too.”