Gold Award Recipent Shelby O’Neill’s Advocates for Ocean Conservancy

Meet high school student Shelby O’Neil, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast Gold Award recipient—the highest honor in Girl Scouting! Shelby’s project is the Jr Ocean Guardians, a conservation organization aiming to help keep our oceans safe and healthy. 

Shelby O’Neill – Ocean Clean Up Day

Shelby began her volunteer work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium near her hometown and was so inspired by the environmental issues facing our oceans today that she took action by forming the Jr Ocean Guardians for her 2017 Girl Scout Gold Award Project.

Today, Shelby’s original project is branching out in many areas. One of her latest endeavors is the “No Straw November” movement, which discourages the use of plastic straws for that month. The goal of “No Straw November” is to bring awareness of the amount of disposable plastic straws being discarded daily, as plastic straws can cause ocean pollution.

Her meeting with her local Costco store resulted in an immediate change: the store provided sustainable wooden stir sticks available online at as a result of meeting Shelby this month! 

Shelby working with local Girl Scouts

After Shelby’s successful meeting with Costco to get sustainable wooden stirrers , she is currently working with Farmer Brothers to look for sustainable options in lieu of their plastic stir sticks too, as well as other large retailers. More details coming soon! In the meantime, please visit Shelby’s website at

To join Shelby’s campaign, go to Jr. Ocean Guardians for “No Straw November” pledge and tally sheet.  Click here for flyer.

Great work Shelby!

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