ACS Student Coalition
The primary campaign of the ACS Student Coalition focuses on sustainable seafood and consists of three major elements:
Rewarding Local Businesses. We collaborate with several student organizations on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) to identify, certify, and reward local businesses who serve and/or encourage the purchase of sustainable seafood choices.
IUB students drive the local economy in the small town of Bloomington, IN, and business owners genuinely care about the perception and consumer satisfaction of young and market-savvy consumers. Regular meetings of the ACS Student Coalition are currently focused on identifying key locally-owned and franchise restaurants with whom mutually beneficial partnerships can be forged. Working with our business partnerships, we determine reasonable standards of sustainability in seafood selections, using the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program as a guiding metric. We also investigate and encourage the use of innovative and creative ways of rewarding both local businesses, their distributors, and their client base for choices that minimize impacts on the oceans.
One of our featured partners is Bloomingfoods, a locally-owned cooperative market and deli that strives to reduce environmental impacts through prudent packaging, reduced carbon footprint, and buying from local producers who use sustainable practices. Bloomingfoods sells only sustainable seafood products and monitors the ever-changing status of individual seafood products to ensure the highest level of compliance with standards of sustainability.
Educating Peer Communities. Dedicated ACS-SC members discuss the issue of sustainable seafood choices and the impacts of destructive commercial fishing practices upon fish populations and habitats. During the Spring 2011 semester alone, ACS-SC members distributed over 500 Monterey Bay Seafood Watch cards on campus hot-spots and at local events and festivals. ACS-SC members hosted a campus-wide screening of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Training Program DVD. We also host public meetings focused on various aspects of fisheries science, sustainability, and seafood-related public policy.
Partnering with IUB Residential Programs and Services. Student Coalition members proactively engage and partner with IUB campus food service providers to incorporate sustainable seafood selections in meal plans offered to students on campus and in dorms. We also work closely with IUB executive chefs to encourage contractual agreements with vendors and distributors who buy directly from commercial seafood companies that in turn purchase seafood products from fishermen who use sustainable practices and equipment in their operations.