The M.D.M.R. has been giving the award for 19 years, and it was established to encourage local students to develop research projects involving Mississippi’s coastal resources.
“We give these awards each year to encourage students to identify environmental issues and find possible solutions,” said Jamie Miller, Executive Director of the M.D.M.R. “It’s important that young people know they play a part in the conservation and protection of the Coast.”
The awards are given in five classes, which are divided by grade level. Class I is kindergarten through third grade; Class II, grades 4 through 6; Class III, grades 7 and 8; Class IV, grades 9 and 10; Class V, grades 11 and 12.
The winners of the first two classes receive $100. The other three winners receive $200 in order to enhance their exhibits so they will have a better chance of winning at the next level of competition.
Winners of this year’s Excellence in Marine Sciences Awards are:
MacKenzie Valentine, Bayou View Elementary, “Is There a Dead Zone for Plankton in Brickyard Bayou?” Class I, $100.
Steve Rocha, Bayou View Elementary, “Can Oysters Clean Water?” Class II, $100.
David Alexander, St. Patrick Catholic High, “Solar Storm 2,” Class III, $200.
Adara Rutherford, Hancock High, “Seasonal Variations of Water Quality in Bay St. Louis and the Mississippi Sound,” Class IV, $200.
Chazmyn Riley, St. Patrick Catholic High, “Does Acidification Affect Marine Life,” Class V, $200.