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REF NO.: 165

SUBJECT: Marine Institute site of St. John’s Youth and the Oceans Conference
DATE: April 19, 2012

The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University will host a Youth and the Oceans Conference on Friday, April 20. The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Hampton Hall and the MI gymnasium at the Marine Institute’s Ridge Rd. campus in St. John’s. Members of the media are invited to attend.
The theme of the year’s conference is Making a Difference Starts Here.
The Youth and the Oceans Conference will celebrate the role of youth in marine environmental activity in Newfoundland and Labrador. More than 100 junior high and high school students from the Avalon Peninsula will attend, taking part in a day-long series of thought-provoking presentations and interactive discussions that focus on marine environmental issues representing leadership and career opportunities for youth.
 “The Youth and the Oceans Conferences play a valuable role in the development of youth who wish to further their studies of oceans and marine issues,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). “These students will also learn about the educational options available at MI that will enable them to make a positive impact in our province’s ocean sector.”
Among the speakers at Friday’s Youth and the Oceans Conference will be Mr. Blackwood; Justin Dearing, conference coordinator, MI Ocean Net; Noel Joe, Assembly of First Nations and Mi’kmaq Maliseet Atlantic Youth Council; and Jonathan Chatman, a Marine Institute student who took part in an Arctic expedition with Students on Ice in 2011.
The conference will also include an awards presentation, youth forum and tours of the Marine Institute’s aquaculture facility, GIS lab and Remotely Operated Vehicle simulators. Information booths will be set up in the MI gymnasium by a number of like-minded groups and companies.
“This conference provides youth with fresh new ideas, uplifting realizations, and a powerful feeling of hope when it comes to our unique opportunities in NL’s marine sectors,” said Justin Dearing. “Hands-on learning, motivating experiences, and belief in their potential to make a difference in our marine environment are at the heart of what makes this conference a success each year.”
The Marine Institute brought the Youth and Oceans Conference series to Milltown Feb. 8 and to Marystown on Apr. 3.
“The Youth and the Oceans Conferences are well received by junior high and high school students across the province,” said Mr. Blackwood. “It is not surprising that our youth care about these issues. This illustrates that they want to learn more about the academic and career choices available in these ocean-related fields.”
The Youth and the Oceans Conferences are supported by the Gainey Foundation; the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development.
To learn more about MI Ocean Net and the Youth and the Oceans Conferences, visit http://www.mi.mun.ca/mioceannet.

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