CELS Alumna Receives International Ocean Award

McCannKINGSTON, R.I., Feb. 1, 2017 — Jennifer McCann, director of U.S. coastal programs for the Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island and extension director of Rhode Island Sea Grant, has received an international award for her work in coastal and ocean planning.

McCann is the recipient of the 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for her Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or Ocean SAMP, which provides regulations for the management and protection of Rhode Island’s ocean resources and activities. Grover Fugate, executive director of the state Coastal Resources Management Council, was also recognized for his leadership on the plan.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,’’ said McCann, whose programs are at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography. “I really feel that this has been a team effort with my colleagues at CRC, Sea Grant and CRMC, our host of partners and the people of Rhode Island.”

The nationally acclaimed management program increased protection for fishing, marine trades and conservation and resulted in the installation of the first offshore wind farm in the country.

This is the first time Rhode Islanders have won the award, now in its 10thyear. Past winners have included four heads of state, U.S. secretaries of state and defense, senators, leading marine scientists, journalists, explorers, youth leaders and citizen activists.

Named in honor of the author of “Jaws,’’ the Benchley awards celebrate those who have committed their lives to working on important ocean and coastal issues…[Read more]