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Shore Buddies Ocean Hero of the Week: Ryan Hickman

Shore Buddies Ocean Hero of the Week: Ryan Hickman

Hi All!

Stephen Seagull interview.pngWelcome to Stephen’s Interview Corner! I’m Stephen Seagull and I’m back with our new Ocean Hero of the Week! This week, I’m very proud to introduce you all to the recycling hero himself, Ryan Hickman. I thought I liked to fly high and shoot for the stars, but this amazing young man is flying past me! He can’t walk past trash without picking it up and making an impact on the environment around him.

Ryan Hickman posing in front of recycling pile

  1. Hello, I’m Stephen Seagull, and I’m from the beach! What’s your name and where are you from?

Hi! I'm Ryan Hickman and I'm from San Juan Capistrano, California!

     2.  How long have you been passionate about Ocean Protection?

Since I learned about how important is - probably when I was 4 or 5.

     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?

We do regular beach clean ups and I would see trash on the sand and in the water. I wanted to just keep cleaning it up. I don't like seeing animals injured or sick from pollution. It makes me sad.

     4.  What specific cause are you a part of/did you create? Tell us about what it accomplishes.

I recycle as much as I can. Mostly cans, plastic bottles and glass. I've recycled almost half a million items so far. I like recycling because it keeps all the cans and bottles out of the ocean so animals don't get sick and die from pollution. I also love doing beach clean ups because it cleans the environment too.

Ryan Hickman posing with Shore Buddies Sammy the Seal, made with recycled plastic bottles

     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 hope it's a little better than when I started. I'm trying to get as many people to recycle right anywhere in the world. Sometimes people don't realize that even when they don't live near the ocean that their trash can still get out to sea by the rivers and storm drains so it's super important to all make a difference.

     6.  What tip do you have for everyone to help keep plastics out of the ocean?

Please recycle as much as you can and if you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up and put it in the correct bin. Every little bit helps.

     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 just tell them to keep up their hard work, follow their dreams and I would tell them that I'm only 9 years old and if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Ryan Hickman presenting his recycling work at a conference


For more information about Ryan and his recycling efforts, visit

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 who, why and how we can get in contact.

p.s.: Ryan also is a big Shore Buddies fan! Here is what he thinks of Shore Buddies And the Plastic Ocean