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“Generation Coral” Opens the 2022 Reef Futures Symposium

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

“Generation Coral” is empowering girls from under-resourced communities to become tomorrow’s change-makers

Kicking off Reef Futures 2022, Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™) is hosting Girl Scouts from some of Southeast Florida’s most under-resourced communities for a day of inspiration and empowerment. Supported by American Association for the Advancement of Sciences IF/THEN Ambassador, Adele Luta, the event, “Generation Coral: Be a Reef HERo”, will bring the ocean world into focus for these middle school girls as they discover how they can become the next generation of leaders in creating positive change.

Engaging these girls in the intersectional issues surrounding the loss of our planet’s coral reefs, and shining a light on the opportunities for them to contribute to solutions, will be four young members of Heirs to Our Oceans. Heirs to Our Oceans is a youth-driven not-for-profit organization that exists to inspire and support the next generation of leaders in realizing solutions to today’s global challenges. These four extraordinary young people will be sharing their stories and accompanying the Girl Scouts for a day of interactive, horizon-expanding STEAM-based activities. The day includes both an in-person snorkeling expedition to one of the massive open ocean Coral Tree Nurseries managed by CRF™ in the Florida Keys, and an interactive, 360-virtual dive option.

Four extraordinary Heirs to Our Oceans Ambassadors will join the Girl Scouts at "Generation Coral: be a Reef HERo"

“Generation Coral: Be a Reef HERo” was supposed to launch in 2020 – the brainchild of Derek Hagen, CRF™ Education program Manager, and Adele Luta AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador and CRF™ volunteer scuba diver. In 2019, Adele donated her AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador Award to CRF™ to create a STEM program for girls from under-resourced communities, and the project was born. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the event was delayed and then canceled. Now, officially launching Reef Futures 2022, the world’s only symposium dedicated to coral reef restoration, “Generation Coral: Be a Reef HERo” will finally hold its first event.

Adele Luta, AAUS IF/THEN Ambassador surfaces from a coral restoration dive with CRF™ in the Florida Keys

Hagen explains, “It is critical that we work together to empower all young people and provide them with the tools to face the future. While ‘Generation Coral’ is just a small step on the road to that goal, every girl we reach with this program will hopefully emerge with the belief that they can make a difference in their world, that everyone has the capacity to change the world for the better.”

For more information, contact Alice Grainger, Communications Director, CRF™ at


The mission of Heirs to Our Oceans is Inspire the next generation of leaders by connecting them in purpose, educating them on the environmental and humanitarian crises they are inheriting and cultivating the necessary skills to make real-world change. They support Heirs in realizing solutions to today’s global challenges.

Heirs to Our Oceans “Generation Coral: Be a Reef HERo” Ambassadors:

Raina Inanova is an 18-year-old climate and children‘s rights activists living in Germany. In 2019 she became part of the Children vs. Climate Crisis petition and has since been advocating for climate justice. During high school she was the leader of her school’s climate club as well as part of her city’s student school board. She is a volunteer with UNICEF Germany and was a member of its most recent youth council. Currently she is taking a gap year and interning at Heirs To Our Oceans.

Latifah Nansubuga (she/they) is a 19-year-old member of Heirs To Our Oceans (H2OO) from Uganda who advocates for healthy oceans, climate justice and clean water. Latifah engages in public speaking opportunities to share her story, and she is a member of the H2OO RAISE team contributing her project Climate Smart Urban Farming (CSUF). Latifah developed CSUF to avoid the fate of forced child marriage at 13 years old, overcoming hunger suffered by her family due to the climate crisis. Latifah is keenly aware of the need to keep our waterways healthy, as the pollution of Lake Victoria in Uganda, where the Nile River begins, runs up Africa and into the Mediterranean Sea. Latifah imagines a world of eco-justice for future generations, no matter the location of their home.

Charley Peebler (they/them),18 years old, co-founded Heirs To Our Oceans (H2OO) in 2016 wanting all youth to understand the world they are inheriting and gain skills to create a safer world. To learn the science behind human impacts on our oceans to effectively raise awareness, in 2016 Charley learned directly from researchers about coral, deep sea habitats, unsustainable fishing practices, and issues in plastics recycling. Since, Charley has spoken regularly – nationally and internationally -- about the ocean, waterway, and climate crisis. They have organized and led many workshops for youth and adults and have spoken on stages, panels, in media, and to lawmakers seeking policy change. In 2018 Charley testified before the U.S. Pacific Fisheries Management Council about bottom trawls harming deep sea coral. In a “landmark decision” 140,000 square miles of deep sea off the U.S. West Coast was protected. Since 2020 Charley has been the Chair of the U.S. Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to the UN Ocean Decade leading meetings with U.S. lawmakers and has organized and facilitated policy advocacy webinars for youth. 

Catarina Lorenzo, 15 years old, is a global activist and surfer, originally from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She was part of the petition Children Vs. Climate Crisis in which she spoke at the United Nations alongside 15 children from all over the world, including Greta Thunberg. She is also part of Heirs To Our Oceans and the collective S.O.S Vale Encantado. She served as a 2020 Young Eco Women Ambassador and is currently a High Seas youth ambassador. She has also spoken at many high-level ocean advocacy events such as the A Brave New Ocean event, which opened the United Nations Ocean Decade in 2021. Recently she has started a project called Eco Club Sustentare, which is a youth-led organization focused on environmental education and sustainability. 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.

The AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors program brings together 125 women from a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers to serve as high-profile role models for middle school girls.  AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors use their skills in many fields – including research and development, sports and recreation, finance, fashion, gaming, engineering and manufacturing, entertainment, healthcare, conservation, aerospace, and more. By highlighting women in STEM who are contributing in all these fields, the AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors program shows girls the different career pathways they can pursue and how STEM impacts their lives every day. AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors are taking their outreach to the next level through original entertainment and media content, and direct engagement with middle school girls in formal and informal educational spaces.  The IF/THEN® Collection, a digital asset library of women STEM innovators, is available for educational and other noncommercial use.

Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida is committed to being a place where all girls and volunteers feel welcome, encouraged, and empowered. Our work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is deeply rooted in Girl Scout's more than 100-year commitment to making the world a better place. 

CRF™ is actively restoring coral reefs on a massive scale, educating others on the importance of our oceans, and using science to further coral research and coral reef monitoring techniques. They work to support the reefs’ natural recovery processes through the large-scale cultivation, outplanting, and monitoring of genetically diverse, reef-building corals. CRF™ also strives to engage and empower the community to join them in saving our planet’s coral reefs with dive programs, educational activities, scientific collaborations, and outreach.

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