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Ocean Devotion UNCW’s Planet Ocean Project chapter was recognized by renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle and the international nonprofit Mission Blue. Their efforts garnered the establishment of a Hope Spot off Cape Hatteras, one of 76 worldwide and the first in North Carolina. Concerned about the prospect of the Cape Hatteras region being pinpointed for future oil/mineral extraction, Bonnie Monteleone ’11M, executive director of the national POP and advisor to the UNCW chapter, developed a proposal outlining why the area should be protected. The UNCW POP chapter created a website,, and a documentary. Members canvassed the Hatteras area to garner community support. The UNCW students’ efforts caught the attention of Earle herself, who hopes others will look to their work for inspiration. UNCW’s Student Government Association recognized them with a resolution of support. Now that Cape Hatteras has been decreed a Hope Spot, the national POP organization will provide materials so the students can continue to educate the community. “The students are proud of their success,” said Monteleone. “I am reminded how a small group of people can create positive change and protection for our planet.” – Marybeth Bianchi and Caitlin Taylor ’18M

Plastic Ocean Project members point to the new Cape Hatteras Hope Spot on Mission Blue’s website. Pictured (left to right): Sam Athey, POP former president; Katy Nickel, POP vice president; POP advisor Bonnie Monteleone.

Learn more about Hope Spots at

UNCW Magazine Fall/Winter 2016  
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