At Sea Turtle Camp, we strive to integrate conservation principles into every aspect of our programs and daily lives. That is why we were so impressed with Lauren Johnson’s continued commitment to removing single use plastics from her family’s lives. As many of campers saw first hand at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital, plastics have a devastating impact on our marine life, in particular sea turtles. And the problems that they create will be around for a long time, since plastics don’t biodegrade. Inspired by a talk from Bonnie Monteleone in our Marine Biology Immersion program, Lauren had opted to remove plastics from her life. Leading by example truly is such a powerful way to inspire others, and she has started with her family and friends in her own community. Learn more about Lauren as we feature her as our November Marine Biologist of the Month and join her in her efforts to eliminate single use plastics from our households.
Name: Lauren Johnson
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
What is your favorite marine animal? Sea Turtle
What is your favorite movie? Finding Nemo!
What is your favorite food? Tacos!
What inspired your interest in marine biology? I have always been interested in animals and at one point I wanted to be a vet, but I love the ocean and last year I started looking into Marine Biology and after camp I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
What drew you to Sea Turtle Camp? I was looking at Marine Biology camps for the upcoming summer when I found Sea Turtle Camp and it looked so interesting and fun!
What is your favorite Sea Turtle Camp memory? My favorite Sea Turtle Camp memory well, that’s a hard one because I have so many, but I would have to say was getting to know everyone while we helped at the hospital. I also loved getting to brush the turtles back.
What kind of music are you listening to right now? Well right now I am listening to Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles, but in general I like Jack Johnson, Sarah McLaughlin, and Coldplay.
What hobbies or activities are you involved in? I am on a swim team, play soccer, in drama club, take piano lessons, and play the clarinet.
What current conservation projects are you involved with? Well I am starting with my own family. The slideshow we saw on plastic while we were at camp really inspired me, and I have been reading a blog by a women who lives on an almost entirely plastic free life. So I’ve been trying to convince my family to use less plastic and it is slowly working. For my sister’s birthday I got her glass straws, we use reusable bags at the grocery store, and I absolutely refuse to use plastic water bottles. I think it has been almost four months since I’ve used a plastic water bottle. My family has also been recycling so much more and even reusing. Instead of just throwing away plastic/glass containers we will use them over. I also try to pick up trash when I see it.
What would be your dream Sea Turtle Camp adventure? I would love to go scuba diving and to see sea turtles and other creatures in their natural habitat
What are your future aspirations? I hope to get accepted in a science and medical program and to go to college for Marine Biology and Environmental Science. I am also making a slide show to raise awareness on pollution and how it affects marine life.
What would you do to change the world? I would get rid of plastic bags and plastic water bottles. I would also help clean up the gyres in the oceans.