2018 Bootcamp Champions
- Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
- School: Corona Del Mar Middle School
Chloe Mei Espinosa’s passion for scuba diving among tropical reefs inspired her work to protect the oceans by reducing plastic straw pollution. In April 2018, the then 11-year-old researched and created her own website, Skip the Plastic Straw as part of a 6th grade project to educate people about the harmful effects of single-use plastic straws. On her website, she created a Skip the Plastic Straw pledge counter for people to commit to not using single-use plastic straws. To date, more than 800 people have signed the pledge!
After attending the 2018 Ocean Heroes Bootcamp, Chloe Mei convinced the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, and Capistrano Unified School District for a total of 128 schools to stop using plastic straws and offer only biodegradable alternatives! The Capistrano District has also stopped the use of plastic water bottles and moved toward more compostable packaging in the future. She has also convinced the Pali Institute Outdoor Camp to stop the use of wooden straw stirrers in place of plastic stirrers in their cafeteria and lounges.
Chloe Mei has also started a lecture series where she presents to children attending camps at the Pacific Marina Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. To date, she has spoken to more than 200 kids about the harmful effects of single-use plastics. In addition to these presentations, she has also presented to the Hoag Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, petitioning them to limit or stop using single-use plastic straws in all of their hospitals and centers in Southern California.