Ocean2Ocean: 22-Year-Old Environmental Activist Completes 3,000 Mile Run Across America

This piece by Parley for the Oceans will be featured in The Beam #11 – Power in People. Subscribe now to read more on the subject.


• On July 26th, 2019, activist and athlete Sam Bencheghib set out from Battery Park in New York City to run across America — on Saturday, February 1st, 2020, he concluded his journey at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, CA.

• Sam has accomplished an incredible 3,055 mile journey on foot averaging 20 to 30 miles a day, spreading awareness of the plastic pollution crisis affecting our oceans.

• Along the way, he met with over 8,000 people to discuss the issue – ranging from schoolchildren and activists to athletes, sports teams and politicians.

• Ocean 2 Ocean took Sam through thirteen US states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

© Jacqueline Verdugo © Jacqueline Verdugo


Los Angeles, CA — This weekend, Sam Bencheghib, a 22-year-old athlete, environmental activist, Parley for the Oceans youth ambassador and co-founder of Make a Change World concluded his 3,055 mile run across the United States in Santa Monica, California.

Since leaving New York City on July 26th, 2019, Sam covered thirteen states and logged over 100 marathons crossing the plains, mountains and deserts. Along the way Sam has raised awareness of the devastating impacts of plastic pollution on our oceans and met with leaders, athletes, students, and ordinary Americans calling on them to sign the Parley AIR pledge and to inspire change.


© Devin L'Amoreaux © Devin L'Amoreaux


Sam Bencheghib: 

“It’s hard to put into words what finishing this 3055 mile journey across America and jumping into the Pacific Ocean feels like. Although there were so many obstacles along the way, this run taught me so much about the plastic industry in this country and the lack of awareness, education and action going on when it comes to plastic.”

Make a Change World, Parley for the Oceans and local organization Heal the Bay hosted a beach clean up to celebrate the grand finale of Sam’s arrival and all that he has accomplished. For the final three miles to the coast, Sam was joined by friends, family and a large crew from the adidas Runners LA running community.


© Jacqueline Verdugo © Jacqueline Verdugo


Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans:

“Running across America, not giving up, focusing on this one goal is like driving change. At the beginning it looks impossible, but every step makes it more real, shows that it can be done. Completing this very personal challenge is an inspiration and encouragement to never give up, until your vision becomes a reality. Sam is an Ocean Legend in the making, a champion of the environmental movement. And I am grateful to count him as part of the Parley family.”

© Jacqueline Verdugo © Jacqueline Verdugo


Ocean2Ocean is a project by Make A Change World in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans with the support of adidas Running.

Parley’s involvement falls under the framework of Ocean Uprise, the youth activist platform that was launched on World Oceans Day 2019 at www.oceanuprise.com. To review the entirety of Sam’s journey, please visit www.instagram.com/makeachange.world/ and www.instagram.com/parley.tv/


About Sam Bencheghib:

Sam Bencheghib is a 22-year-old athlete, environmental activist, co-founder of Make A Change World and Parley Ambassador. Previously, Sam has gone on three expeditions, one of which resulted in the Indonesian government acting to clean up the world’s most polluted waterways, the Citarum river. As an adventure enthusiast, Sam is now embarking on this arduous journey across America to show the importance of acting now.


About Make A Change World:

Make A Change World is a media outlet and environmental organization that uncovers uplifting and inspirational stories on a mission to do good. We believe that no idea is too crazy since we are running out of time. Therefore through our clean up campaigns, world-first expeditions and impact driven videos, we are here to share the stories worth listening to and give a voice to the underrepresented. Since starting Make a Change World, our work has garnered  500+ million views.


About Parley for the Oceans

Parley for the Oceans is a global network where creators, thinkers and leaders from the creative industries, brands, governments and environmental groups come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. The organization has formed alliances with major partners including adidas, Anheuser Busch InBev (Corona), American Express; the United Nations; the Republic of the Maldives and collaborators spanning the worlds of science, art, fashion, design, entertainment, sports, space and ocean exploration. Learn more and join the movement at www.parley.tv