Efforts by White Rock resident Carolyn Prentice to preserve local shores have won her the prestigious Rene Savenye Memorial Scholarship.

Efforts by White Rock resident Carolyn Prentice to preserve local shores have won her the prestigious Rene Savenye Memorial Scholarship.

Hero of the beach

White Rock resident wins Rene Savenye Memorial Scholarship for her efforts to preserve and protect local shores.

Carolyn Prentice of White Rock has been awarded the Rene Savenye Memorial Scholarship, the prestigious award named after the late amateur naturalist from Surrey.

Prentice was presented with the award on Friday (May 5) by Margaret Cuthbert, president of Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society (FoSBS).

Prentice, who graduated from Elgin Park Secondary school in 2008, is pursuing an honors degree in biology with a specialization in marine biology.

She has carried out three field-based, self directed projects on eelgrass and algal ecology and this summer will continue her work assisting two graduate students with their field work in eelgrass ecology.

After graduation she plans to pursue a masters degree in Ecology.

Since 2009, Prentice has volunteered with Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society a volunteer-based, non-profit group that seeks to protect and restore local marine and estuarine environments.

She has participated in Shorekeepers intertidal surveys, forage fish habitat restoration, invasive plant removals, litter pick-up and native plantings.

Prentice was one of the Beach Heroes interpreters who conduct walking tours of Crescent and White Rock beaches, conducting patrols to report any illegal harvesting to Fisheries and Oceans Canada conservation officers as well as pass on information regarding general beach use.

She was named the Beach Hero summer staff person in 2010.

The $1,000 Rene Savenye Scholarship is presented annually to post-secondary students and is made available through donations to BC Nature.

It is awarded in memory of Rene Savenye, a widely recognized naturalist, educator.

The retired school teacher from Princess Margaret Secondary School gained fame for his discovery of a bee fossil in 1995 at Quilchena, near Merritt, estimated to be between 50 and 54 million years old.

The bee is a previously undescribed species and believed to be the second oldest fossilized bee in the world.

Savenye died in 2002 when he was struck by lighting near Lake Louise while searching for fossils.

He was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and became the first recipient of an award named after him and presented by the B.C. Paleontological Alliance.