Hazel Van Ummersen

Age: 12, Hometown: Eugene, Oregon

"We need to protect our land, water, air, and wildlife. Our government is turning a blind eye to our planet, and our future."

Hazel has loved camping, the ocean, and every aspect of nature since she was very little. But she didn't realize until she was eight that climate change is threatening the environment. Hazel frequently visits the Oregon coast, where she enjoys bodysurfing, playing on the beach, tidepooling, harvesting seaweed, and hunting mushrooms. Increased surface and ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and ocean acidification caused by climate change threaten Hazel’s future ability to enjoy these activities, which are important aspects of her childhood. Unfortunately information about the disastrous affects of climate change wasn't taught in her school, so Hazel started trying to educate people about the harmful effects of climate change. "And I believed in this cause. We have hope, and we have the power to change."

Photo: -amw, Flickr