Students form ocean conservation club


The Marquette University Ocean Conservation Club had their first meeting Nov. 15 in the Alumni Memorial Union. Photo by Margaret Cahill

While Marquette might be thousands of miles from the ocean, a new club on campus is aiming to bring awareness of ocean conservation to the Midwest.

The Marquette University Ocean Conservation Club had their first meeting Nov. 15 in the Alumni Memorial Union.

At the meeting, the executive board explained the purpose of the club and why they believe such an organization is important in Milwaukee.

“It’s a very important issue that not a lot of people talk about since we’re in the Midwest,” Marie Crowe, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and founder of the club, said. “But people do not realize that everything we do here affects the health of the ocean and the health of the ocean affects our everyday lives in Milwaukee.”

Faustina Jones, a senior in the College of Education and the club’s vice president, said that she and Crowe use their passion for ocean conservation when working with the seals and sea lions at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

“We kind of personally are advocators and help spread education about the ocean, so I think it’s important that we brought it to Marquette and are spreading it to more people here,” Jones said.

Jones said field trips to the zoo will be among the club’s activities.

The executive board announced at the meeting that the club will also organize beach cleanups at Bradford Beach and bring in speakers to educate club members on ocean conservation.

The founders and executive board are all seniors who plan to graduate in the spring.

“We’d rather have it start our senior year than not start at all,” Renata Mussi, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and the club’s secretary, said. “And we’re so excited because we had a pretty big freshman turnout at our first meeting so it looks optimistic that our club will be continuing.”

About 35 people attended the meeting, and Crowe said that she was surprised by the number of students and that many of them were freshmen.

“I just thought it would be really interesting since it’s new and I do believe in conservation and that our ocean is really important so I thought I would come and see what I could do,” Fiona Pack, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. 

The executive board said they encouraged these freshmen to get more involved in the club since next year all of the original founders will be gone. 

Marlena Erickson, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and the club’s treasurer, said that she hopes the club will have a large impact on Marquette students.

“With the ocean there’s a lot of discord between the Midwest and the coast,” Erickson said. “So we are bringing more awareness to the fact that we do still have a responsibility to be taking care of the ocean around us.”