Connor Berryhill, The MicroActivist
Location: San Diego, California
- Models paddled: Island Voyage 2.
- Water that he paddles: Lakes/Ponds, Ocean, Harbors, Bays and Estuaries.
- What he uses his yaks for: Cleaning up trash, hauling kids to clean up sites, exploring.
From birth Connor loved the water, it soothed him, drew him in and was always his happy place. At 10 months the instructor of his swim class said he had never seen a kid so comfortable underwater. Over the years Connor struggled to fit in with other kids above water and became more and more drawn to the underwater world. Ocean documentaries were always more desired than cartoons, and he begged for a way to breath underwater. One trip to visit family in Hawaii lead Connor to see a wild monk seal on an early morning walk down the beach. In the usual Connor fashion, he had to learn all there was to learn about the endangered monk seal. Learning how these curious creatures are often entangled in discarded fishing nets and leftover beach trash set the five-year-old on a mission to clean up as many beaches as he could, and earned him the nickname ‘MicroActivist’. Over the years of engaging on his single handed mission to clean up as much as possible, he has had countless other kids notice what he is doing and eagerly join up. It is absolutely amazing what a group of energetic kids can accomplish in a short amount of time! These kids willingly volunteer to pick up what others have left behind all while having a great time. They do it, not for a reward or because someone asked them to, but because it is the right thing to do and because they love nature and all its creatures. What started as one little boys’ mission to save endangered monk seals has grown into a movement of kids determined to change the fate of the oceans.
Favorite AE Story:
During a trash clean up at a local pond about 20 of us kids set out to make the pond safe and clean for the critters that call it home. We used our two Advanced Elements kayaks and gathered huge amounts of bottles, fishing line, Styrofoam cups, single shoes, etc. At one point I found a tire wedged into the reeds…we contemplated what to do with it and decided the kayak could handle it. After some huffing and puffing, and almost falling in, we were able to get the tire on the bow of the kayak. By the end of the day we had two tires and a rim! Now the joke is if we find a few more parts we can build a car!