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Marine Biology Club Becomes Marine Conservation Society

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The Marine Conservation Society, formerly the Marine Biology Club founded in 2009, made its debut with a new name, logo, and mission statement this week.

Kyle DeGennaro, a senior marine biology major and president of the Marine Conservation Society, said that students at open houses would often ask if they needed to be a marine biology major to join the club. This was one of the main drivers behind the change, because the Marine Biology Club was not encompassing of multiple majors.

“We’re here for anybody with any interest in marine biology, marine affairs, environmental science, 0r conservation to promote conservation, environmental science, and all these different parts of the marine world and teach people how they work together,” said DeGennaro.

The executive board began debate over a name change last year, but the process, once initiated, only took about a week. The club’s old mission statement was only two sentences long and caused multiple problems with event planning due to its narrow scope. While the old mission statement was more education and knowledge base, the new one places an emphasis on advocacy and action.

“We really wanted to make it so that it’s more inclusive of the different majors and more inclusive of the people and it doesn’t sound really restricting,” said DeGennaro.

Under the old statement, the club had issues with many events outside of aquarium trips. DeGennaro hopes the new mission statement will allow for more museum or zoo trips.

Currently, the Marine Conservation Society is a gold status organization in the top 20 percent of USGA, although DeGennaro hopes it will expand even further with its new name.

“I want it to be bigger than it’s been,” said DeGennaro. “I’m really trying to create a new foundation for this.”

He wants to see more events geared towards conservation, such as their water bottle return that allowed students to trade-in 15 recyclable water bottles for a reusable one. The club collected seven trash bags full of bottles in the first day.

“We want to really be promoting conservation and recycling on this campus,” said DeGennaro.

DeGennaro expressed interest in looking into other programs on campus that may be having an environmental impact in order to address ways students can take action to change them.

Although the club has a new name, DeGennaro thinks the greatest challenge moving forward will be getting students to understand that it is the same as the Marine Biology Club, rather than thinking they are two separate entities.

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Marine Biology Club Becomes Marine Conservation Society