Will Charouhis founded We are Forces of Nature to combat climate change and to protect coastlines from the effects of sea level rise. His nonprofit’s A Million Mangroves initiative aims to restore or plant one million mangroves. He is passionate about mangroves’ ability to protect against coastal erosion, absorb greenhouse gasses, and support marine biodiversity. He began his work in middle school as part of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council. Since then, he has paneled with Dr. Goodall at United Nations conferences on the power of young people to effect positive change. During the pandemic, he restored more than six miles of mangrove roots along the Miami shoreline to regenerate growth.

At the 2021 United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), he met with officials from Peru, Fiji, and the Seychelles to discuss mangroves’ role in mitigating coastal risk. He has also spoken about their ability to sequester carbon with their quick-growing, leafy mass. Passionate about mangroves’ myriad benefits, Will knows well the challenge of planting them. Of the 289 mangrove seedlings he has planted in tidal areas in the past two years, only 20% have survived. He is currently conducting field research to develop better ways to grow and plant seedlings. He also continues to encourage residents to restore older mangroves by removing ocean trash from their roots.

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IYH Behind the Scenes

Will’s story was shot in and around Miami – providing a beautiful backdrop for his impressive story.