As Hurricane Alex prepares to make landfall along the coasts of Mexico and Texas, waves created by the storm are making Gulf cleanup efforts even more difficult for U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Cameron Cooper ‘09 and his crew.
Cooper is the shore operations branch director who oversees a team of enlisted officers and contractors responsible for oil cleanup on the beaches of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Prior to the storm, cleanup efforts were going well, in part, due to the solid relationships Cooper developed with local residents.
The hurricane is producing 10 to 15 foot waves against the outer breakwaters – a stark contrast from the normal waves off the coast of Lafourche Parish. Despite the recent turn of events, Cooper remains optimistic. “Eventually we’ll win and we’ll have our beach back,” Cooper says.
Cooper graduated as a Park Scholar from NC State University in May 2009 with a degree in textile engineering and was commissioned as an officer in the Coast Guard in December.
The Park Scholarships program is among the most prestigious undergraduate merit scholarship programs in the nation. The program provides an enhanced educational experience for talented and well-prepared individuals where students develop as scholars in their chosen fields and as leaders prepared to address the problems that face humanity. Each year, approximately 50 scholarships are awarded, with two-thirds designated for North Carolina residents, to outstanding high school seniors for undergraduate study in any discipline.
The Park Scholarships are named for the late Roy H. Park, a 1931 NC State alumnus who created the charitable Park Foundation. The Park Foundation, based in Ithaca, New York, provides support for programs across the nation related to higher education, media, and the environment. For more information about the program, visit Park Scholarships.