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In the past 20 years, Nicco has guided over 150 trips with the Pacific Outdoor Connection, Unalayee Backpacking Camp, Andrew Skurka Adventures, as well as his own organized adventures. On an expedition, Nicco aims for everyone to be challenged and to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the wilderness. A major professional accomplishment was leading a group of 13 -16-year-olds on a 30-day backpacking trip that included a circumnavigation of the Trinity Alps High Route on a record snow year. 

Nicco seeks to empower participants to make sound decisions in the backcountry, navigate without trails, and have so much fun on their adventures. An important part of Nicco’s process is connecting with and supporting each other as a group, especially as participants step out of their comfort zones. 

When Nicco isn’t wandering in the mountains, he is exploring his passions as a performing musician, ukulele teacher, storyteller, contact improvisation dancer and father.

Bec grew up learning about backcountry navigation in the rugged, high-desert landscapes of Idaho. Later, she became a passionate educator, having taught in public/private sectors for more than a decade and counting. Upon moving to the Pacific Northwest, Bec began volunteering with Washington state to stock trout fry in hundreds of untrailed alpine lakes. Thereafter, Bec completed the triple crown, hiked an exploratory route through the ancient Lake Lahontan basin, hiked significant alpine routes in the Wind River Range, Inyo-White Mountains, Elkhorns, Steen Mountains, Yosemite, L2H Route, Brooks Range, and achieved several volcanic circumnavigations. 

Bec’s interest recently transitioned to technical high-alpine terrain. She has skied every volcano in the US Cascade Arc, many in the Chilean Ring of Fire, in Patagonia, the Chugach, and the Redline Ski Traverse in the Range of Light. Bec has been a ski guide/instructor for backcountry ski operations and skills courses, a mechanized (helicopter and CAT) ski guide, a backpacking guide, a ski patroller, and a technical mountaineering guide on Mount Shasta and Mount Whitney.  Bec informed her adventures with the science of snow, terrain, and weather patterns. Bec’s passion as a mountain guide is in facilitating feelings from her clients that they are welcome to be a part of our natural world of wonders. 

When she’s not working for ski patrol or guiding, she’s sewing and creating art.

Kensha (ken-shay) Bell is an activist, focusing on empowering and uplifting youth to combat the issues they face in our society. Kensha participated in the Heirs to Our Ocean 2021 Summit for Empowerment Action & Leadership which sparked his interest in environmental justice. 

In 2023, Kensha once again joined H2OO as an Intern supporting the communication team spearheading the launch of H2OO’s TikTok account and managing H2OO’s other social platforms. While Kensha was an intern his passion and commitment to eco-justice grew which was shown throughout his work with the youth members of the U.S Youth Advisory Council for the UN Ocean Decade. In addition to H2OO, Kensha sits on the advisory board of Famli Inc. an organization that guides youth through its unique nine-point curriculum mentoring programs.  

Today, Kensha joins Heirs to Our Ocean staff as Assistant Program and Communication Coordinator.            

Before his time with H2OO, he was a member of the Ceasefire Southern California Committee, an organization that has committed to ending gang violence within the community of South Los Angeles and others. Kensha began to advocate for local law enforcement community engagement teams, hoping to build better working relationships between the two. All the while, writing and publishing his first book “The Movement”. Within his book, Kensha aims to equip young activists with the fundamental skills to lead successful movements. In 2022, Kensha campaigned for California Governor with the slogan “A Future Beyond US” Throughout his campaign he emphasized the importance of including youth in the conversation to achieve the goal of his campaign slogan.

Jeremiah Cutright is an environmental activist, focused on using clean energy for global development. His work with H2OO has been multifaceted and inspiring; including his involvement in SEAL 2021, RAISE, the U.S. YAC UNOD, and now as an intern. Prior to becoming interested in activism and policy, Jeremiah spent time in engineering.

Outside of volunteering, Jeremiah spends most of his time engaging in other activist activities or studying. A prolific reader, in 2022 he published his first book, The Energy Predicamentwhich elucidates many common misconceptions around energy. He continues to elaborate on these subjects in his Substack op-eds, and other publications.  

Jeremiah is currently finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, he engages with the community through student organizations dedicated to promoting civil dialogue and combating political polarization. He looks forward to a career in energy and technology policy once completed with his education. 

Kensha (ken-shay) Bell is an activist, focusing on empowering and uplifting youth to combat the issues they face in our society. Kensha participated in the Heirs to Our Ocean 2021 Summit for Empowerment Action & Leadership which sparked his interest in environmental justice. 

In 2023, Kensha once again joined H2OO as an Intern supporting the communication team spearheading the launch of H2OO’s TikTok account and managing H2OO’s other social platforms. While Kensha was an intern his passion and commitment to eco-justice grew which was shown throughout his work with the youth members of the U.S Youth Advisory Council for the UN Ocean Decade. In addition to H2OO, Kensha sits on the advisory board of Famli Inc. an organization that guides youth through its unique nine-point curriculum mentoring programs.  

Today, Kensha joins Heirs to Our Ocean staff as Assistant Program and Communication Coordinator.            

Before his time with H2OO, he was a member of the Ceasefire Southern California Committee, an organization that has committed to ending gang violence within the community of South Los Angeles and others. Kensha began to advocate for local law enforcement community engagement teams, hoping to build better working relationships between the two. All the while, writing and publishing his first book “The Movement”. Within his book, Kensha aims to equip young activists with the fundamental skills to lead successful movements. In 2022, Kensha campaigned for California Governor with the slogan “A Future Beyond US” Throughout his campaign he emphasized the importance of including youth in the conversation to achieve the goal of his campaign slogan.

Shiv Goel is a youth activist with a focus on ocean conservation and sustainable fashion. Shiv has been a member of Heirs To Our Ocean since 2021. He most recently served as a support staff member for the Policy Committee for the 3rd Cohort of the U.S. Youth Advisory Council for the UN Ocean Decade (U.S. YAC UNOD). 

Shiv began his ocean conservation journey when he joined the U.S. YAC UNOD as the Co-Chair of the 2nd Cohort. In this role, Shiv represented the U.S. YAC UNOD at a variety of events including a workshop at the NMEA 2022 Conference, an Ocean Decade panel at the American Geophysical Union’s 2022 meeting, and more. In prior roles, he has additionally spoken extensively about the importance of sustainability and justice in production.

Shiv is now a student at Cornell University where he is involved with various social impact initiatives on campus. In his free time, Shiv enjoys hiking through local gorges, going white water rafting, and enjoying nature whenever possible.

Amber Ortiz is a member of Heirs to Our Ocean who joined in 2020 during the first Cohort of the US Youth Advisory Council for the UN Ocean Decade. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she developed a passion for the environment from a young age although she didn’t always see the best parts of it outside of her window.

In high school, she worked on various environmental projects, from cleaning up local beaches to helping plan more resilient coastal communities in South Queens. More recently, she began advocating for stronger environmental protections at U.S. Capitol Hill with other members of H2OO.

She is currently completing her degree in Marine Biology at the University of Delaware, finding her passion in research, and just completed a term on the Support Team for the U.S. Youth Advisory Council for the UN Ocean Decade.

Outside of her work with Heirs to Our Ocean, Amber enjoys kayaking, gardening, biking, and reading on the beach. She also continues to advocate for the environment in her personal life, from engaging in environmentally focused student-run organizations on campus to learning more about environmental racism affecting her community.

Raina, in Hamburg, Germany, believes that environmental protection means protecting each other.

She is an advocate for climate justice because she understands that the climate crisis is entwined with the world’s social issues. By acknowledging these intersections and the colonial roots of the climate crisis, Raina wants to contribute to equitable solutions and the protection of our shared Mother Earth.

As a member of H2OO, Raina has learned from and is inspired by fellow youth leaders, shaping her into the young activist she is today. Raina was supported as a Petitioner in the Children vs Climate Crisis case which was before the UN Committee for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Raina recently completed a 2-month live-in internship at H2OO headquarters, and she engaged in a remote 6-month internship supporting the H2OO-nominated member of the Children’s Advisory Team for Child Rights Connect.

All throughout, the youth-centered, inclusive and holistic approach of H2OO has provided Raina with feelings of empowerment and truly made her experience at H2OO life changing.

Catarina, in Brazil, is a 15-year-old competitive surfer and a social-environmental and climate activist.

Since a little girl, Catarina played in forests, mangroves and the ocean learning from her parents how important the environment is and how we should take care of the life in it. Catarina believes that we can work together to solve the crises we are living in, including the oil spills on the waves she surfs and the plastic pollution across her state.

Catarina’s experiences through Heirs To Our Ocean, including being a Petitioner in Children vs. Climate Crisis, changed her life. Learning more deeply about empathetic leadership, being empowered as a youth with her voice heard internationally, and working with youth around the world inspired her even more.

Connecting with youth from different cultures and backgrounds, who also have an interest in solving the crises we face, complemented Catarina’s life as a change-maker. She hopes that she has inspired others as well.

Litokne, from the Marshall Islands, a low-lying island nation in the middle of the Pacific, committed himself as a youth activist with H2OO in 2019.

Litokne was one of the 16 youth Petitioners in Children vs Climate Crisis wherein he shared his story about how the climate crisis has impacted the very survival of his island home. With only 7 feet above sea level, Marshall Islands lies on the very frontline of the climate crisis, and Litokne’s experiences have urged him to make sure his voice is heard globally.

Litokne believes the younger generation deserves a sustainable planet and should not be forced to leave their home and culture. Litokne’s island home is his identity, and he feels that no corporate actions nor government policies should take that away from him. Litokne takes action with H2OO because he believes that the next generation deserves a healthy and happy future too. 

Shay spent her childhood surrounded by nature in a farming community on the California coast. There, she developed a passion for food justice and connecting with the environment around her.

Her community struggled with the impacts of climate change and contaminated water. After joining Heirs To Our Ocean, Shay was empowered with the tools to turn her personal experiences with human impacts of environmental degradation and her love of the natural world into advocacy.

Now a student at U.C Davis, Shay is studying wildlife sciences and is planning to pursue research and conservation as a career path. Shay’s ongoing journey with H2OO is a crucial part of her life path today and being a part of a global family of Heirs is a constant source of support, inspiration, and passion.

Cambria has been with H2OO since the beginning, when she was 12 years old, furthering the mission and cultivating H2OO into what it is today.

Having grown up in a small town on the Northern California coast, Cambria developed a profound love for, and connection to, nature. Seeing the impacts of single-use plastics on ecosystems and communities globally, Cambria’s advocacy work focused on researching plastic pollution and raising awareness through award-winning artivism, both visual art and film, as well as speaking at events around the world.

She is committed to fostering a community of global youth who are connected to our shared natural environment and each other and who have access to the development of skills to advocate for justice for themselves and their communities.

Now a student at Whitman College, Cambria prioritizes climate action on campus and continues to raise awareness regarding the reliance the single-use plastics industry has on fossil fuels.