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UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant honored by coastal preservation group

University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant programs and people were recognized at the first awards presentation by 100 Miles, a nonprofit organization working to protect and preserve the Georgia coast.

John “Crawfish” Crawford, an educator and boat captain, the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, and Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant were among those recognized as coastal champions: stewards, researchers, business and civic leaders community activists, artists, writers, educators, the next generation and legacy leaders.

Crawford, based at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island, was noted for his work with nonprofit organizations on the coast and his passion for helping educate children about the coastal ecosystems. Crawford grew up on Savannah’s Eastside exploring the woods and marshes. According to 100 Miles, he is “a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about all things coastal Georgia.”

UGA Marine Extension Service (now Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant) was honored for “protecting, and preserving the environmental, cultural, and historical resources of our Georgia coast.” For more than 40 years, Marine Extension has worked to educate coastal residents, help them protect their natural resources and improve their quality of life. The Marine Education Center and Aquarium, the Shellfish Research Lab and oyster hatchery and the Marine Extension Facility in Brunswick are all a part of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS), organized by Georgia Sea Grant interns on Skidaway Island, empowers middle and high school students across the country with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to create and implement their own ocean conservation projects. In 2015, the inaugural summit was planned by the Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Interns Maeve Snyder, Beth Smith, Cara Lin, and Sean Russell, who founded the first national summit in 2011.

The awards were held during 100 Miles’ inaugural conference, “Coastal Conservation in Action: Choosing to Lead,” at Jekyll Island.

Contact: Mark Risse,, 706-542-5956.

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