Winner of the Youth environmental leader award at the 2023 Whakamānawa ā Taiao – Environmental Awards.
Whananaki-local Noah Edwards exemplifies the true essence of what it means to be an ambassador for the ocean and is proof that youth can make positive waves of changes when it comes to protecting our unique marine environments.
Since 2020, Noah has been a volunteer for Mountain to Sea Conservation Trust’s Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme. The national marine conservation programme aims to empower schools and communities by providing hands-on experiences in the ocean.
Within his volunteer role, Noah assists the EMR team to deliver their community snorkel days. This involves guiding participants through the wonders of their local marine environments and reserves.
So far this year he has dedicated over 50 hours of his time to this mahi and is one of EMR’s top five volunteers in Northland.
Noah's dedication and passion for all things ‘ocean’ extends far beyond his volunteerism – having completed EMR’s Marine Mahi for Rangatahi programme to develop his skills in freediving and marine pest identification.
During this experience, Noah actively participated in the removal of 320 Mediterranean fanworm and has plans to get involved in surveying for the invasive seaweed, exotic Caulerpa.
He is an outstanding role model for youth in his community and an inspiration to anyone, young or old, who loves our oceans. We have no doubt he will continue to make positive impacts for the moana throughout his life.
(Images: Wendy Bown)