OneWhale

Twins Adam and Dean Harpaz of Los Altos created OneWhale with the mission to promote the preservation of whales.

Twin brother brothers Adam and Dean Harpaz have been fascinated with whales since early childhood, and now, at age 14, the Los Altos High freshmen are on a mission to help preserve and protect the species.

When the boys were younger, their parents read them a picture book titled “Snail on the Whale” by Julia Donaldson, about a snail that helps rescue a beached whale, a classic tale with the message that being small does not stop you from making a big difference. Not only did the book inspire a lifelong appreciation for marine life, but its message informed the twins’ later conception of OneWhale, an independent initiative devoted to saving whales.

“It’s a little silly, but ever since then, we have been fascinated with whales and their impact on our environment,” Dean said of the impact of the book.

OneWhale was born during the pandemic, when the Los Altos residents wanted to turn their extra time and energy toward something they were passionate about. Instead of supporting an existing organization that promoted survival of whales, they set about to create their own.

OneWhale brings in funds through donations and the sale of branded merchandise. The brothers started off simple, branding small items such as pens, stickers and mugs to sell on their website. Recently, they have expanded their collection to include shirts, hats, tote bags, and more. Adam and Dean market their promotional items to friends, family and classmates at Los Altos High. To date, the Harpaz brothers have brought in approximately $430 in donations and sales to support whale research, education and conservation.

According to Dean, OneWhale prioritizes three fundamental values.

“First of all, research, an incredibly important factor in conservation. We sponsor research technology in order to make whales’ climate and environments more habitable,” he said. “Second is education, arguably the most important factor. The education helps our community understand the value of whales and also raises awareness of our main goal, which is saving the whales. This happens through conservation, which focuses on preserving their habitat. And we do this by preventing things such as fishing waste and plastics from getting into whale environments.”

Adam and Dean have “adopted” two humpback whales through Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s Whale Adoption Project: a female named Midnight and a male named Coral.

In the future, the Harpaz brothers hope to expand OneWhale’s influence by introducing more products and offering opportunities for OneWhale-sponsored volunteer work, like trash pickups at the beach. In the coming years, they plan to broaden their reach and open up sales globally.

“We’re really excited about the way this is heading,” Adam said.

In addition to the work they are doing with OneWhale, both Adam and Dean hope to pursue environmental advocacy in their careers. Dean is interested in studying conservation through law with an organization like Greenpeace, while Adam hopes to advocate specifically for sea mammals in his career.

To purchase OneWhale merchandise and for more information, visit onewhale.us.

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