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Recent UF Grad Wins National Award For Environmental Leadership

Brower Youth Awards

A recent University of Florida graduate has won a national award for his environmental work. Twenty-two-year-old Sean Russell received the honor for promoting awareness of ocean debris.

The Brower Youth Awards recognize the nation’s top environmental leaders between the ages of 13 and 22. Among this year’s six winners is North Port, Florida, native Sean Russell, whose mission began six years ago as a high-school community service project. He created fishing-line recycling containers out of empty tennis-ball cans to keep the dangerous material out of the water and away from sensitive marine life.

"And we’ve been able to work on the recycling bins across the country in 10 states with students but also develop educational presentations and programs on marine-debris prevention that we’ve been able to share with students and adults all around the world," he says. 

Russell calls his fishing line project “Stow It Don’t Throw It.” He is also an organizer of the annual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit at Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory, which happens this year on Nov. 8. 

Check out the Brower Youth Awards video about Sean Russell here