Ocean Hero of the Week: Justin Sather
Hi my Ocean Friends!
This week for my Ocean Hero of the Week special, I am so excited to introduce you to a young man who will stop at nothing to help save the wetlands. This 8 year old has already started his own project to save the frogs! He is very dedicated to the cause he believes in and I can’t wait to tell you about it!
- Hello, I’m Stephen Seagull, and I’m from the beach! What’s your name and where are you from?
Hi! My name is Justin Sather. I’m in 2nd grade and from Los Angeles, CA.
Justin’s like most 8-year-old boys: he loves to play sports, hang out with his friends, and build things. He also loves frogs, which might seem just like another ordinary thing- except he’s taken that love to another level.
2. How long have you been passionate about Ocean Protection?
I have been interested in protecting our oceans, wetlands, and planet since kindergarten.
It all started in kindergarten, when Justin learned almost one-third of frog species are on the verge of extinction. He learned pollution, pesticides, and habitat destruction are the main causes for their decline. Knowing that frogs are indicator species, he recognized frogs are telling us the planet needs our help. Justin’s mom saw his passion to create change, so they set out on a quest to tell the world.
3. Ocean Protection is a pretty big deal to me and my friends since we live at the ocean. What event happened in your life that made you want to pursue Ocean Protection?
Dr. Jane Goodall told me that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish if things don’t change.
Justin discovered ways to keep trash out of landfills. He switched to reusable snack bags and gave lessons on composting at Emerson Gardens. Justin learned how to recycle crayons, turn fishing line into bracelets, and transform plastic bags into doormats. He came across a little girl that melts 200 pounds of plastic bottle caps into a buddy bench that encourages kindness and new friendships.
Justin didn’t realize his love for frogs would turn into a passion for taking care of the planet. He became interested in recycling, but when he learned that trash can be transformed into other gadgets…it was like MAGIC!
4. What specific cause are you a part of/did you create? Tell us about what it accomplishes.
I started @JustinsFrogProject and dedicate all my work For The Love of Frogs. www.ForTheLoveOfFrogs.com .
Justin started selling toy frogs around the neighborhood. He recognized that incorporating science with art inspired others to listen. Through frog art and his own frog-themed shoes, his message quickly expanded from one neighbor to the next and increased through social media partnerships. As he raised awareness, he also raised thousands of dollars.
His first $2,000 was donated to Save the Frogs! non-profit. Justin’s passion for the wetlands grew and he set up local cleanups and donated hundreds of gloves. On his 8th birthday, he invited his friends to the Ballona Wetlands to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.
5. I know I’ve been flying around longer than you (we don’t have to give actual numbers of how old I am) but what do you believe is the state of our oceans today versus when you started pursuing ocean protection?
I think that more and more people are taking an interest in taking care of the Ocean but it still needs a lot of help.
Justin wants to continue to spread his message about plastic pollution. He wants people to know that it only takes one small change in their life, something as simple as the type of toothbrush they use, to make a positive impact on the planet. Justin has been collecting toothbrushes from his friends, neighbors, classmates, workspaces, and his dentist's office. He is determined to inspire all of them to switch from a traditional plastic toothbrush to a more eco-friendly option.
6. What tip do you have for everyone to help keep plastics out of the ocean?
One tip I have is that it only takes one small change in your life to keep our oceans and planet clean.
Justin is saving up for his own froggy toothbrush eco-friendly creation. He thinks that if people brush their teeth every day with frogs and trash turned treasures in mind.....it will help them remember to take care of the planet throughout their day. Follow the Kid Hero Go Fund Me Campaigns and help him make the change. Toothbrushes are a common item that is found in our oceans so Justin wants to give awareness through his work on changing the way people see and use plastic toothbrushes.
7. It’s been so great interviewing with you. I have one last question for you. What would you tell someone who is struggling to stand up for a cause they are passionate about?
I would recommend reading 3 things. First, reading the book "What Do You Do with An Idea?". It will tell you exactly what to expect when you have a great idea. Next, read Bravery Mag and it will inspire you to be brave and determine. Third, read bUneke Magazine and it will remind you that being unique is special and it will keep you motivated to stand up for your cause.
For more information about Justin Sather and For the Love of Frogs, visit https://www.fortheloveoffrogs.com
Do you know someone who should be featured as a Shore Buddies Ocean Hero? We would love to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org who, why and how we can get in contact.