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Michelle Mech

Michelle Mech has been working on environmental issues for over ten years. In 2013, she decided to concentrate her work on the oceans, and created educational material in both English and Spanish on the impacts of human activities on the oceans – geared to high school and first-year university students. More recently she produced Ocean Champions – A Journey into Seas of Plastic to educate young children about the horrendous problem of plastic in our oceans, empowering them to take action and to educate and influence the adults in their life at the same time. She lives on Salt Spring Island in BC’s Gulf Islands.

Ocean Champions: A Journey into Seas of Plastic
Ian Fry
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

Empowering children to help save our oceans.

With nine million tons of plastic debris entering the oceans every year from the land - the equivalent of one large garbage truck full every minute - plastic in our oceans is a problem so devastating and colossal that it is easy to give up in despair, feeling there is no way to make a real difference.  But Ocean Champions - A Journey into Seas of Plastic not only communicates this huge environmental problem to young children in an entertaining and educational story; it also empowers them to make a difference by influencing the adults in their lives and by taking action to become champions for our oceans.  

Ocean Champions is beautifully illustrated and tells a tale of two children, Kai and Morgan, who are playing on a beach and befriend Botley, a plastic bottle who is afraid of being washed into the ocean. They soon discover a dolphin tangled in fishing net and call a rescue centre for help. The rescuers arrive in the super submersible, Spirit, and thus begins a journey of discovery about the devastating effects that plastic debris is having on marine animals, either through external entanglement that injures, traps, and often drowns them or through plastic ingestion, which causes suffering and often death.  Along the way they learn more about ocean plastic and also why our oceans are so important. 

The story presents the sad facts in a way that doesn't overwhelm.  The child characters learn and accept and then go on to do something about plastic in our oceans, inspiring readers to also become agents of change.  (Gulf Islands Driftwood Newspaper, 2017)

"This book is a must-read for today’s action-minded students. By showing the dark side of plastic pollution in the oceans, and then identifying solutions that we can all adopt, it provides a practical and positive story that empowers us to protect ocean life." - Dr. Peter S. Ross, Director of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Pollution Research Program

"As a life-long artist and naturalist, it is safe for me to say that this book about a journey into seas of plastic is an excellent work. The illustrations are clean and lively, and the story is forceful and focused. The message is vitally important for all ages; from uninformed kids to thoughtless industrialists ... prevention is better than cleanup." - Robert Bateman, Canadian naturalist and painter

Educator Information
"The Oceans Champions story is a valuable learning tool for elementary school students as it teaches them about their relationship with the oceans as part of their natural environment. Reading and discussing the story contributes to the development of social responsibility, communication, and critical thinking. Related individual or group actions further enable advancement of these skills." - Janet Hoag, Coordinator K-5, SD 64 Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

The book's appendix contains related individual actions and student projects as well as other information, and the Ocean Champions website ( contains teaching aids which include many student activities.

Recommended for grades K-7.

Additional Information
40 pages | 9.00" x 9.00"

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