Five students received Excellence in Marine Sciences Awards during the Region VI Science and Engineering Fair held Wednesday (Feb. 29) at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced.

The MDMR-sponsored award was established to encourage local students to develop research projects involving Mississippi's coastal resources.

Winners of the 2012 MDMR Excellence in Marine Sciences Award, in order of class were:

· Carter Lee, 3rd grade, Magnolia Park Elementary, for "Home Sweet Home, Creating a Marine Habitat," Class I entry, $100.
· John Michael Miller, 5th grade, Anniston Elementary, for "Dawn vs. Cheer When Cleaning Oil from Birds," Class II entry, $100.
· Taylor Farr, 8th grade, D'Iberville Middle, "Goo Be Gone, Cleaning Up Oil Spills," Class III entry, $200.
· Elizabeth Moore, 10th grade, Ocean Springs High, "Bio Monitoring Weeks Bayou Watershed," Class IV entry, $200.
· Morgan Hertz, 12th grade, St. Patrick High, "Effectiveness of Aquatic Phytoremediation of Stormwater," Class V entry, $200.

The goal of the program is to encourage students to identify and find solutions to the Mississippi Coast's environmental problems. Each winner received a certificate and monetary award.

"The winners of the younger classes each receive $100; the older winners each get $200 because they will most likely be advancing to the state competition," said Jennifer Buchanan, education coordinator for the MDMR/Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. "The extra money will enable them to enhance their exhibits, so they will have a better chance of winning at that next level of competition."
Class I entries represent students in grades kindergarten through three; Class II, grades four through six; Class III, grades seven and eight; Class IV, grades nine and ten; and Class V; grades eleven and twelve.