Penfield native Kelly Coyne, 21, is making waves in environmental policy through her communications efforts for multiple campaigns, including climate and energy, responsible fishing, and plastics.

Coyne set out to connect her passion for the oceans with communications after graduating from Binghamton University in 2019 with a degree in environmental science. She was hired as a U.S. communications intern at Oceana, an international conservation nonprofit dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans.

“I’m proud to be supporting communications efforts at Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation,” Coyne said. “Plastic is polluting our oceans, food and water, and offshore drilling and illegal fishing are threatening coastal health and economies. I’m excited to advocate for protections that ensure a healthy, biodiverse ocean that will be enjoyed and cherished by future generations.”

During her time at BU, Coyne joined the news section of her campus paper, Pipe Dream. She furthered her writing experience in 2018 after creating “Point Source,” a science communications blog that analyzes environmental issues for a non-scientific audience.

Coyne participated in a student exchange program during her sophomore year at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she observed the degradation of local fringing reefs. This inspired her to take an internship propagating and caring for 40,000 corals at Mote Marine Laboratory in Summerland Key, Florida. She also worked to progress the sustainability of various student dining options through an internship at BU.

Coyne observes the deterioration of the ocean’s habitats through hours of snorkeling and scuba diving. She said the continued assault on oceans makes it more important than ever to fight for policy change and public awareness.