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Ocean-Loving Student Nets Big Prize

When future generations sit down to a seafood dinner, they may want to give thanks to environmental advocates such as Emily Nocito ’16, who is launching a yearlong campaign to publicize the importance of marine protected areas as a way to restore ocean fisheries.

Emily, a Stony Brook University coastal environmental sciences major minoring in ecosystems and human impact, was honored with the top environmental award, the Oceans Prize, at the Millennium Campus Conference in New York City on August 13. The conference, hosted by the United Nations, is an annual symposium for university student leaders advancing global development. The honor comes with a $5,000 cash prize donated by the Remmer Family Foundation to fund that campaign, which will include a series of monthly global webinars.

Emily, from South Orange, New Jersey, hopes to use some of her winnings to set up a website that will help to spread the message via the webinars.

“I hope to show that restocking fisheries and marine protected areas are something that we millennials care about,” Emily said. “I expect that those in power will see that and act accordingly.”

Emily’s membership with JFEW SUNY Scholars Program in International Relations and Global Affairs, which is coordinated by SUNY Global with help from the Stony Brook University Career Center, led her to the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA). That is where she met Ellen Pikitch, a professor and executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, whose body of work focuses on developing science-based approaches to expand the amount of protected ocean in a financially sustainable way. Emily will serve as a research assistant for Pikitch during the coming school year.

Read the full story here.

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