Once... twice… thrice we have been graced with news of Emilie’s environmental impact, and each year, she brings a little bit more! Emilie receives recognition as Number 12 this year, rising 7 places from 19th last year.
Previously noticed for her work with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition since 2010, coordinating media relations and educating youth about through the Wings of Change Education Program, Canadian Youth Delegation, and COP16.
This year, Emilie raised the bar through her research! She spent 6 tough months working on coral reef conservation and restoration in the San Andres Archipelago, Colombia. She chose the project knowing the coral reefs in that area are some of the most biodiverse in the Caribbean and support hundreds of thousands of people through fishing and ecosystem services (Recent documentaries, such as Rob Stewart's Revolution, speak to ocean acidification and the changing ocean climate the impact human interaction has on reefs). She conducted a thorough baseline study of tourist impact on shallow reefs. Tourism was focal to the research since the small island hosts over 400,000 annual visitors - more than 4 times its local population.
More than just a treehugger, Emilie is a reef hugger too! While in San Andres, she also was cultivating and planting critically endangered staghorn corals for reef restoration! Her volunteer work there was recently recognized as the top undergraduate research project at the Elizabeth May Symposium and at the Dalhousie Sustainable Oceans Conference.
Even though the oceans have Emilie swimming deep in ocean issues she has remained involved in the Canadian Youth Climate Coaliton as the Coordinator of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition's Wings of Change Climate Education project. Under her guidance, the program expanded from Halifax and has overseen the opening up of active chapters in Toronto and Montreal.