Scientists of Color: The Marine Biologist Making Waves in the Ocean’s Future

July 20, 2020 2 min read

Beaches have always been a safe haven away from the hot summer heat. Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is making sure that will continue to be the case in the future. 

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and strategist from Brooklyn, NY. She is the CEO and founder of Ocean Collectiv, where she focuses on ocean conservation. Her work looks to provide solutions to issues such as plastic pollution, overfishing, climate change, and the destruction of natural habitats. These topics are explored through the lens of social justice. Johnson looks to aid those negatively impacted by the changing oceans through her partnerships with outside organizations. Ocean Collectiv’s clients feature many renowned organizations, including the WWF and Greenpeace. 

One major issue that Johnson looks to aid with her work is the rate of food insecurity that is growing in minority coastal communities. The amount of pollution and unethical fishing practices are two of the root causes of food insecurity forming.  

Johnson also founded the Urban Ocean Lab to transform coastal cities into leaders of the ocean conservation effort. With the sea level continuing to rise, water has become a major threat to cities on the coast, such as major infrastructure damage during storms. The sea level rising makes this destruction significantly worse. Advocating for policy changes, in regards to sustainability, is key in preventing the eventual submersion of cities underwater. Although it may seem like a catastrophic event in a science fiction movie, the sea level could rise up to 8.2 feet by 2100. If changes are not made, those numbers will continue to grow in the future. 

With climate change creating so many social, political, and environmental problems, we are happy to highlight one of the leaders in creating solutions. The future of our ocean is in great hands with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson leading the initiative for positive transformation. 

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