We're passionate about organizing local creek, river or beach clean ups in your town! With empowering activities and presentations, a real life mermaid can visit our youth to educate them on the issue of plastic pollution in our ocean.
Dawn Rodriguez and Madeline Kennedy are founding members of Into the Sea. Into the Sea is a service-based nonprofit bringing awareness to plastic pollution in the ocean and our waterways. We are a community-based organization focused on helping make the world around us a healthier, happier place. We work collaboratively with community partners to organize creek, river, city and ocean cleanups, exciting community-building events, and in-depth educational trainings. With our Into the Schools program, a real life mermaid visits our youth to discuss the issue of plastic pollution in our ocean through engaging activities and presentations. Into the Sea has been an organizing partner with 5 Gyres for TrashBlitz since its second iteration in Denver, Colorado in 2020. Both Madeline and Dawn are Inland Ocean Coalition Ambassadors and share a deep love of nature, the ocean and community.
Mermaid Dawn created Into the Sea because she recognized the ugly subject of plastic pollution wasn’t grabbing the attention it should in community and media discussions. The beauty of mermaids has long captured the curiosity of an audience, so Dawn designed Into the Sea around the idea of making a sometimes difficult subject more approachable and appealing. She explains her passion for the ocean being an obligation to our shared earth. With a Masters in Policy, Dawn is an avid and passionate traveler with a background in nonprofit management and education and a new mom (as of December 2020) to their daughter, Azalea. Dawn's favorite sustainability hack is bringing her own containers for leftovers when going out to eat with loved ones, serving as a model for culture of reuse. Born in Panama City, Panama, as the daughter of a Navy Seal, Dawn grew up near the coast until she was 6 years old. She was raised a mermaid. Dawn and her family eventually moved to Austin, TX which she considers her home. Dawn's passion is more than that -- it's an obligation to the sea. She is excited and grateful to be able to continue growing her partnership with both Inland Ocean Coalition, 5 Gyres and local communities and feels empowered to be the change she wants to sea.
The serenity of nature has always been an integral part of Madeline’s life. When she started seeing more and more trash on beaches, she realized the severity of the plastic pollution problem and had to take action. Dawn shared the vision of Into the Sea with her, and Madeline knew this was an organization she wanted to help build. Madeline has a background in journalism and hospitality, focusing in education and development of sustainable practices wherever possible. She currently works at Textile Exchange and previously served on the Austin city operations team for Sonder, where she developed a warehouse recycling/reuse program, built local partnerships that fostered community engagement and encouraged sustainability, and wrote a company-wide best practices model for building local partnerships. Madeline’s sustainability go-to's are composting, creative reuse, and buying locally!