Climate Activists Win Eco Advocate Awards from Save the Sound

Pictured here is Kat Morris, a scholar-activist for environmental justice living in New Haven, CT and Josh Koppel, a climate activist from Cheshire, CT.

In 2021, we established the Youth Eco Advocacy Corps to partner with young environmental activists across the region. These emerging leaders, (led by Save the Sound environmental justice specialist Alex Rodriguez,) meet monthly to learn advocacy skills, hone their stories, and take action together for a more sustainable future.

The Eco Advocate Award is an award we bestow to individuals under age 30 in recognition of their commitment to advancing a healthy future for the Long Island Sound region. This past year, we selected two awardees for the Eco Advocate Award in recognition of their advocacy and commitment to building resilient communities. Those awardees are Katharine “Kat” Morris and Josh Koppel.

Kat Morris is a scholar-activist for intersectional environmental justice with her Master of Public Policy from the University of Connecticut. She is the lead organizer and founder of Seaside Sounds Club, and previously founded UConn Collaborative Organizing (UCCO) to promote solidarity and intersectionality in social and environmental justice movements. Her TedxUConn talk, How to Collaborate for Environmental Justice, is a call to action discussing environmental racism, health inequities, and how to organize your community using radical love and collective thinking.

Pictured here is Kat Morris with her mother Cynthia Brown accompanied by Save the Sound president Leah Lopez Schmalz and environmental justice specialist Alex Rodriguez.

Kat was selected to receive the award in recognition of her grassroots organizing efforts and advocacy. Notable accomplishments of Kat’s work include supporting the passage of S.B. 1 An Act Equalizing Comprehensive Access to Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Care in Response to the Pandemic, (a bill that acknowledges racism as a public health crisis in Connecticut,) and organizing the first ever Seaside Sounds for Environmental Justice.

Josh Koppel is an 18-year old climate activist and freshman at the University of Delaware majoring in Environmental Policy. During his time at Cheshire High School, he was the Vice President of National Honors Society, the student liaison to the Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire, the Treasurer of Cheshire High School Conservation Club, and was involved in the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee. 

Pictured here is Josh Koppel and his mother Allison Mark accompanied by Save the Sound vice president of programs Denise Stranko and environmental justice specialist Alex Rodriguez.

Josh was selected to receive the Eco Advocate Award in recognition of his advocacy and regular participation in our Youth Eco Advocacy Corps program. Josh’s notable accomplishments include successful competition of the Natural Resources Conservation Academy and organizing two successful sustainability fairs to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and climate change. Josh is currently working with his allies in to move the Cheshire Town Council to pass a Climate Emergency Declaration.

Kat and Josh, your advocacy for your communities moves us and we thank you for your dedication to Youth Eco Advocacy Corps and the movement at large.

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