Project

Local Seafood Student Ambassadors

Students leading the way for local seafood.

In the 2021–22 school year, GMRI is partnering with students from five colleges and universities across New England to boost local seafood consumption in their dining halls. With a push for increasing local food in many schools across New England and the trend towards more climate-friendly protein options, institutional foodservice is a great market outlet for our region’s seafood.

Project Goals:

  • Raise awareness about local seafood (and its benefits) on college campuses.
  • Increase local seafood consumption on college campuses.
  • Build a stronger institutional food service market to help support local fishermen and coastal communities.

New England is home to 200 college campuses with dining services and this represents an important marketplace for our region’s seafood. These higher learning institutions have an opportunity to foster a love of a broad range of local seafood in their dining halls that will be critical for our region’s future food security and economy. To that end, this initiative focuses on peer-to-peer awareness-building to increase local seafood consumption at Boston College, Bowdoin College, Southern Maine Community College, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and the University of New Hampshire.

Teams of two student ambassadors on each campus are collaborating with their dining services to design marketing tools to encourage their peers to choose local seafood in their dining halls. Student preferences drive what is purchased by dining services, so engaging with students to create change amongst their peers can help push the needle towards more local seafood served on campus.

As the Gulf of Maine experiences climate change impacts, including shifts in the distribution and abundance of different fish, encouraging flexibility among consumers will be even more important. When consumers are open to what is abundant and choose a variety of seafood, they ensure that coastal communities can diversify and continue to depend on the water for their livelihoods. Over time, increased demand for seafood from institutions will give local fishermen more diverse opportunities.

Bowdoin students Alexis Mullen and Mattie Thomas talked about their experiences with the program so far, as they work to make real changes on their college campus.

Meet Our Local Seafood Ambassadors

  • A portrait of a woman with black hair and a green short smiling for the camera.

    Victoria Newton

    Student Ambassador

    Boston College

  • A portrait of a woman smiling in a pink tank top by a white table.

    Morgan Santaguida

    Student Ambassador

    Boston College

  • A portrait of a woman smiling for the camera. She has curly hair and a colorful shirt and is standing near a marina.

    Alexis Mullen

    Student Ambassador

    Bowdoin College

  • A portrait of a person smiling for the camera, holding a handful of purple flowers on a green mountain meadow.

    Mattie Thomas

    Student Ambassador

    Bowdoin College

  • A portrait of a man with sunglasses and a baseball cap posing for the camera.

    Brian Determan

    Student Ambassador

    Southern Maine Community College

  • A potrait of a man with long black hair and a black beard sitting on a brick stoop with a denim shirt unbuttoned.

    Jakob O'Neal

    Student Ambassador

    Southern Maine Community College

  • A portrait of a woman in a striped shirt with curly hair, smiling to the side of the camera as a soft yellow glow emerges behind her from the sun through trees.

    Karoline Dillenbeck

    Student Ambassador

    University of Maine — Presque Isle

  • A portrait of a main holding his black jacket over his shoulder, standing on the sunny beach, and smiling in a white button down shirt.

    Alessandro Marroquin

    Student Ambassador

    University of Maine — Presque Isle

  • A person smiles for a portrait with short curly hair and a brightly colored button up shirt.

    Marco Carrattini

    Student Ambassador

    University of New Hampshire

  • A portrait of a woman smiling in a white billowy shirt, surrounded by shrubbery.

    Alanna O'Keefe

    Student Ambassador

    University of New Hampshire

10 students stand in a line along the left side of the photo, facing a speaker talking to them who is standing on the right side of the photo. They are standing inside a Portland Fish Exchange building with concrete floors.
Students joined an in-person workshop that took them to the Portland Fish Exchange where they were able to learn more about the different steps of the local seafood supply chain.
10 students stand in a line on the right side of the photo, facing a speaker who is on the left side of the photo. They are standing on a concrete dock on a wharf, with a blue building behind them.
Our local seafood student ambassadors took some time to learn about the role the working waterfront plays in supporting our local seafood industry.

Our Team

Project Sponsor

This project is generously supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

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