Sea Potential LLC

Mission

Sea Potential cultivates a full cycle of Black Indigenous People Of Color representation in maritime. Through healing activities and ocean justice conversations, we focus on fostering youth appreciation and connection to marine ecosystems, in addition to transforming the maritime industry with inclusive workplace culture.


Vision

We envision a world that promotes representation over assimilation. A world centered in reciprocal healing and relationships where everyone is seen, heard, and valued.

Authenticity

We value creating safe spaces for BIPOC to be their authentic selves; spaces that genuinely promote representation over assimilation. Being authentic means living your truth and encouraging others to do the same.

Curiosity

We encourage those we engage with to ask questions, challenge the process, and unveil the intersectionality of life’s happening. Curiosity sparks creativity, and our most pressing issues require creative solutions. Most importantly, a curious mind finds excitement in the life-long commitment to learning.

Community

A strong community seeks to understand the perspective of all of its members, and understands that there is no separating ecological community from human community. Sea Potential values fostering heart-based connections, strengthening cross-cultural understanding, and expanding opportunity awareness. When everyone feels seen, heard, and valued, it leads to a space that supports and uplifts individuals in all circumstances, and that is when you find community.

Growth

We know from nature that diverse ecosystems produce better; it’s important to recognize that honoring diversity of perspective is critical to the growth and evolution of our society as well. We value uplifting the experiences and knowledge of BIPOC as well as cultivating spaces for healing so that we can grow individually, organizationally, systemically, and so forth.



Ebony & Savannah met at earthcorps, an environmental restoration non-profit, in 2019. They quickly noticed one another’s brown-ness and bonded over their shared lived-experiences and passions. Since then, they have become best-friends, roommates, and now business partners! At the end of their first AmeriCorps service term in 2019, they participated in a visioning workshop. One by one, everyone in the room answered the question, “If all of your worries and hesitations subsided, and you could do ANYTHING in the world, what would you be doing?”. Savannah & Ebony were pleasantly surprised that they had a shared dream of creating opportunity in the field of marine science for BIPOC youth, using themselves as direct sources of representation and facilitation. The events of 2020 hyper illuminated the racially fueled systemic injustices that exist within the US. Ebony and Savannah decided there was no time to wait to create the reality they wanted to see. In the span of just two months, they announced their plan, began extensively networking, acquired their business license, secured fiscal sponsorship through Sustainable Seattle, and received their first grant from Justice Outside!




Sea Potential felt like the perfect name for their organization as they advocate for the wider community to see potential in BIPOC, and encourage BIPOC to see their potential of thriving in marine spaces.

Savannah Smith - Director of Youth Engagement:




Savannah grew up in the Renton/Skyway area in an animal loving home. Fun fact: her non-human family members ranged from hermit crabs to peacocks! Naturally, this early learning that every animal has a unique lifestyle and soul, fostered her curiosity and love for the environment. She instantly fell in love with the ocean in 2nd grade after a trip to the library left her fascinated by all the creatures that call the ocean home. Savannah eventually attended Western Washington University and earned her B.S. in Biology with a Marine Emphasis. However, it wasn’t until college that she truly started recognizing the disconnect, and lack of representation there was for BIPOC in environmental spaces. She noticed this politically, academically, professionally, and even in community-based conversations and decisions. While doing restoration work immediately after college, Savannah learned a lot more about ecosystem function and the interconnectedness of all systems. She also affirmed that she enjoys sharing her knowledge, and seeing the excitement in others as they create their own heart-based connections to the outdoors. Savannah started a new position leading community volunteer events shortly afterwards, but felt unfulfilled as protests erupted and issues of racial injustice became even more prevalent. 2020 led her to realizing her purpose lies in intersecting her passion for marine environments, with her commitment to creating spaces where BIPOC are seen, heard, and valued. As someone who strongly values growth and expression, Savannah enjoys talking about positive reframing, meditation, wire wrapping, and music!

Ebony Welborn - Director of Corporate Advancement:




Ebony grew up on the farm lands of South Carolina where she played in the creek with her brother catching frogs and dragonflies. Those moments led to her wanting to be a marine biologist. Committed to the dream as a middle schooler, she kept that in the front of her mind. Not until college was she presented opportunities to engage in the career. However, she was eager all the same. Majoring in Environmental Studies in college, she took an unique route. Instead of focusing on the academic path into marine biology, she focused on experiences based in marine science. Ebony acquired her Advanced Open Water Certification, worked in environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation in the southern most parts of Florida, was a guide in a marine science summer camp, and continued to take opportunities based around water. In 2019, she joined EarthCorps, an environmental restoration non-profit based in Seattle. She got to learn restoration practices for many habitats including salmon habitat. While at EarthCorps, she realized she wanted to carve a path for more BIPOC to have a reciprocal relationship with water. Ebony is passionate about facilitating joyous moments in nature for all, working with youth, and creating opportunities. In particular, you’ll find Ebony talking about scuba diving or sup touring! Let her know if you need a water adventure buddy!

We have a focused curriculum design in outdoor experiential and observational learning, with hybrid adaptations available. Our curriculum centers BIPOC perspectives while incorporating tools to acknowledge and heal individual and generational trauma related to water based ecosystems.

Curriculum/Program Design and Advising
Implementation + Facilitation
Instructional + Resource Support
Building Strategic Partnerships
Speaking Engagements - Keynotes, Panels, Outreach

Promoting inclusion in the workplace increases innovation and strengthens community. We’ll help you identify your organization's specific pain points, and guide you in the implementation of representation over assimilation.

Leadership and Initiative Alignment
Executive Coaching
Organizational Assessment and Employee Engagement
Building Strategic
Speaking Engagements - Keynotes, Panels, Outreach

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From the Point of View of the Swamps: Hear Our Plea


By Avery Berg (Sea Potential Intern, 10th Grade)

It is truly not easy being a swamp, and it never has been. We are always judged by our appearances, and frankly, we are not beautiful. Scenic maybe, but hardly in the slightest. Have you ever been to a swamp for a wedding? Have you bathed in our dusty waters on a hot day to cool down? The word “swamp” even sounds dejecting.

Before the 1970s, our rep was really down in the gutter. We were the “sinister” and “forbidding” ponds of the mossy woods. Certainly “infectious” mosquitoes nested near us, making us an impending disease trap. A wasteland doesn’t do any good. We were a bad omen, with our murky waters foreshadowing a murky future. Our sheer presence ran shivers down their spines. In the U.S. at the time, draining swamps became an accepted practice. This was a western perspective that became mainstream through colonization. An astounding amount of wetlands were drained, totalling up to almost half of us being wiped out nationally. We lost a lot of friends in that tragic plague. Draining us, they dwelled on the benefits of more agricultural land and real estate, but they had no idea there would be any deficits to our diminishing. We have, since before human existence, been a pillar to the upkeep of our society. While ages may have phased how we are perceived, our souls are still content in bettering the world. We are still fighting for those who do not fight for us. Let us show you the way into our invisible majesty.

First off, we are a major protection agency against flooding. We collect a lot of excess rainwater and floodwater, and on coastlines we can easily combat some waves. Much water that would otherwise reach people and result in disastrous consequences is picked up by us, and subsequently held in a safe place. Because we give trees a nice drink during their grueling years of standing in place, they aggregate near our stomping grounds and help to mitigate the impact of wind and wet sea. And the “feet” of these trees—extensive roots which they keep hidden because they are ashamed of their magnitude (it’s slightly embarrassing to have big feet)—hold surrounding land in place as well. We protect humans and non-humans alike by producing an area that relieves pressure onset by the wind and sea. We protect your homes and truly, your lives. To continue on with some more of our notable community service work, we also foster an area that actually has the capacity to purify water.

While it might seem like we have the grubbiest and dirtiest water around, the water that flows out of us is actually completely purified. Because we combat so much floodwater, we are constantly getting waste-filled water dumps. This waste might include fertilizers from agricultural usage, or even sewage. And though we appear sunken and still, we are actually hard at work using our extensive plant matter and soil to absorb these pollutants. Even if waste is not absorbed, it will become sediment buried in our walls or floor, so that the totality of the water purifies. We make the water more safe for those that come into contact with it after us. Do you hear us? Are you picking up what we are putting down? Do you understand? We are awesome, and we are making a difference. We are here, and we are here to stay. And what’s more? We are also major havens for a number of species.

We show up for trees, people, and we show up for animals too. We give habitats to birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and even mammals, like beavers. Additionally, we are heavily leafy, and as well as giving “waterside suites” to these plants, a benefit of their stay is that many of them have medicinal value. For example, the mangrove tree, which grows at a number of our locations, has wound-healing, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. There are so many other plants around us that are garnered for usage as well, like fuelwood, salt, and dyes. We are bustling with opportunities and life.

Sadly, as expansion continues to increase, with buildings being erected continuously and forested land like ours’ destroyed, we dwindle. We know life is complicated. We are all trying to make space for growth. We know that beauty, in some way, is in the eye of the beholder. But we also know that we are beautiful, and no one can take that away. We contribute in ways known and undiscovered. We serve this world proud. We know our words will seep through many like light passing through a window, untouched. But we pray on the stars we see at night, high above us and framed by the tops of trees, that people will recognize inner beauty when they see it, and maybe not all hope is lost.


Sources:

What Is The Importance Of Swamps? - WorldAtlas
swamp | National Geographic Society
Why are Wetlands Important? - Wetlands (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)