New season of Coastal Insights!

Launching our newest webinar series aimed at supporting youth as they stand up for a better future.

This Spring, Raincoast is partnering with Take A Stand: Youth for Conservation to present Season 3 of our online educational series, Coastal Insights. 

The theme of this webinar series is hope, equity and advocacy and will include six hour long interactive live-stream sessions which will showcase youth who are tackling these topics despite the significant challenges the world faced over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. The series will include interviews with youth, scientists, journalists, psychologists and wellness experts who can all speak to the experiences and challenges young people are facing right now. 

Research suggests that many people, especially young people, are feeling more overwhelmed, anxious and depressed overall in their lives. Symptoms of procrastination, fear of failure, lack of identity and agency, and a general feeling of ‘being stuck’ are very common.  The gravity of the environmental challenges we now face is weighing heavy. Students often express to us that there are no “concrete” ways to really make a difference, especially as a single individual. We don’t want to see their motivation to pursue change and take up leadership roles decline.


We see a need to talk to youth about ecopsychology or eco-anxiety, the study of how climate change and environmental degradation has affected our mental well being and mental health. We will talk about ways that young people can cope with the difficult emotions that arise from the experience of eco-anxiety, and challenge students to create a pathway or take initial steps towards careers and intentions that feel in line with their personal values. The lessons will discuss topics including the influence of social media on activism, equity and diversity in environmental organizations, Indigenous stewardship, and role models for hope and action.

Through this program, we seek to add energy and motivation to the next generation of youth advocates and stewards through lessons that address their needs and bring them together.

Coastal Insights Season 3 will be hosted by young filmmakers Mackai Sharp and Arian Tomar.

The series will also encourage youth to take part in the second Student Innovation Challenge, which will be accepting applications from March 1 through May 27, 2022. Students in grades 9-12 who are taking action by developing or implementing educational or environmental projects in their schools or neighborhoods are encouraged to apply. There will be some amazing prizes awarded for unique and creative entries.

We encourage teachers and their classes to join the interactive lessons live every week on Wednesdays 1-2 pm starting March 30. Classroom teachers who are interested in participating in the live online sessions can contact our Education Program Coordinator, Asta at asta [at] raincoast [dot] org.

About the hosts

Mackai Sharp is a Maōri-Canadian filmmaker & photographer. Raised on Vancouver island, Mackai started making films when he was 8 years old. Since graduating from highschool last year, his films have been awarded across North America, Europe & Asia. Adjacent to filmmaking Mackai is a published photographer working in both creative and documentary photography. 

Mackai is a media producer and youth coordinator with Take A Stand and sits as a director at the Community Justice Centre on Vancouver Island. Recently filming in the rainforests of Northern Guatemala, Mackai reported on the deforestation in the Maya Biosphere for his upcoming collaboration with TAS all about forests. He is passionate about community advocacy, representation, and contributing to creative spaces around the world. 

He dreams of continuing his career in media abroad and bringing attention to stories that have gone without notice as he pursues new mediums and forms of expression.

Arian Tomar attends Pearson College UWC where he captures the UWC experience. As Student Media Manager, Arian leads a team of Media Assistants in documenting life at Pearson College UWC. From organizing social media engagement plans, to photographing campus events, Arian adapts to the occasion.

Arian is driven to tell stories that connect people with the world around them. Whether he finds himself in the field documenting the behavior of northern elephant seals or covering cultural sharing events, Arian brings his best to capture the moment.

When he’s not at a desk editing and creating content, Arian can be found exploring trails by foot or bike, bouldering, or relaxing in a hammock.

Project Partner

Author of over 100 primary research publications, Allison Kermode is a Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University and Director of the outreach program Take a Stand: Youth for Conservation.  With a special connection to the Spirit bear and a passion for protecting the treasures of the natural environment of BC, Allison founded Take a Stand with her partners in order to galvanize youth through art and film and youth-driven ‘tipping point’ conservation actions in the community.

Arian Tomar is a prize winning filmmaker and digital media creator local to Wahpekute Territory in Southeastern Minnesota, United States.

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.