“Protect what you love”
Few people are as passionate and driven as Project Blue founder Savannah Walker. Sav to her friends, she is an empowered wahine who’s ability to inspire others has taken her on a journey towards a single goal: to conserve and protect the ocean she loves.
Sav leads a team of 23 like minded people in her mission to raise awareness about the threat to our oceans. “Project Blue is a group of youth aged between 18-25 who have come together to make a film about how plastic pollution is damaging our ocean environment, and what we can do to solve it."
I was fortunate enough to catch her in the final stages of the Project Blue’s journey and learn a little more about her Ocean Story.
Keep an eye out as the screening date of The Project Blue film! “It will now be released on world ocean day on the 8th June 2021, which seems kind of fitting.”
Savannah has never lived far from the ocean. She grew up in Kumeu, a place she says “is home to one of the biggest ocean horizon movie sets in the southern hemisphere, it's also 15 minutes away from Muriwai beach, which makes it a pretty perfect place for me to be!”
The Ocean is an exciting place full of mystery at the best of times. I began my interview by asking Sav about her most memorable experiences in the Ocean. “Once I was surfing in Pauanui when a big pod of dolphins visited us! Fright of my life… a dolphin fin and a shark fin look like the same fin for a split second, especially when you aren't expecting it”
How do you feel most connected to the ocean? Is it through sports you love like surfing and diving, or your interest in the life living beneath the waves. “The ocean is my place, no matter what I'm doing. I go there when I'm happy, when I'm feeling miserable, I go there with my friends or when I just want to be alone. Every time I’m there I leave feeling better, no matter the circumstances. I'd say like a lot of people, the ocean helps put everything into perspective. It's a pretty special place”
When asking Savannah about what scares her most regarding the Ocean she had some pretty gripping truths. “The thing that scares me the most about what happens in our ocean is that we don't know the damage we are causing in real time. We won't see the real effects of what we are doing today until further down the track. I think that delay is pretty terrifying & it's my biggest concern”
Lastly the most important question I had for Savannah:
How are you helping?
“Project Blue. A group of youth aged between 18-25 who have come together to make a film about how plastic pollution is damaging our ocean environment, and what we can do to solve it.
We all feel a huge connection to the ocean and believe in the saying “protect what you love”. We have spent the last 2 years documenting our journey. Our hope is that we inspire other young people to act on issues they feel connected to, as we all know that plastic pollution in our ocean is only one issue our world is facing. Our film was supposed to be out in November of this year but Covid and the lockdowns that resulted have caused us to push our film back a few months. It will now be released on world oceans day on the 8th June 2021, which seems kind of fitting.”
“PB has taken us all over the country and to a couple of spots offshore. We have travelled to and carried out interviews in Hawaii, where we spoke with shark conservationist Ocean Ramsey & founder of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii Kahi Pacarro . They spoke about the issues Hawaii is facing with plastic littering their shores & the work they are doing to help prevent it from happening.
We also recently returned back from Malaysia where we interviewed Heng Kiah Chun who works for Greenpeace & Pua Lay Peng who is a local activist turned friend that has been fighting to ensure that plastic and other contaminants from first world countries no longer get shipped to Malaysia for recycling. Along with that, we have been to & interviewed some amazing people in Christchurch, Rotorua & Wellington and even went down to Fox River to check out the landfill that burst its banks, fair to say we have seen a lot!”
“The future generation excites me. I see so many young people out there who are learning about issues and getting involved. The amount of people on Tiktok who are making videos explaining plastic pollution, overfishing, climate change, even things like how to grow vegetables as organically as you can. It blows my mind. The future is bright.”