Alumnus and Emerging Environmental Leader, Dylan Yates

Cape Breton University Alumnus Dylan Yates was recently awarded the 2019 Mobius Award for Emerging Environmental Leaders. Born and raised in Glace Bay, Dylan graduated from CBU earlier this year with a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Environmental Studies. On October 30, Divert Nova Scotia presented Dylan with his award at the 21st Annual Mobius Awards of Environmental Excellence. Dylan was recognized as an environmental champion under the age of 30 who goes above and beyond with environmental efforts in the community. His dedication to tackling environmental issues in Cape Breton made him a shoo-in for the honour. 

In addition to working as a Wetlands Field Assistant with the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources over the past two summers, Dylan founded the Cape Breton Environmental Association (CBEA) in 2017.  CBEA is a non-profit organization aimed at addressing environmental issues across the Island. When he’s not handling day-to-day operations for CBEA, Dylan can be found coordinating and facilitating community activities such as clean-ups, workshops, public speaking events and more. 

Before coming to CBU, Dylan completed a Diploma in Natural Resource Environmental Technology at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) which is where his journey of environmental activism began. Dylan had always had a passion for the environment, but didn’t realize the extent of the world’s current environmental issues and what he could do to make a change. After graduating from NSCC, Dylan attended CBU to help continue his efforts of making a positive difference in his community and the environment around him.

Coming to CBU allowed Dylan to study what he loves while applying his knowledge to his own community. “I loved studying environmental impact assessments with Bill Bailey,” says Dylan. “And learning how different projects can have negative and positive impacts on our community.” 

Dylan says receiving the Mobius Award was a special moment he didn’t see coming. “I was grateful to have even been nominated,” he says. “I don’t measure achievements through awards or certificates but knowing my actions are making a measurable difference in the world means a lot.” For Dylan, his proudest moments as an environmental advocate come from watching volunteers come together to clean up their communities. 

In the coming year, Dylan plans to continue growing the CBEA, particularly addressing the issues associated with marine debris throughout the Maritimes. He promises some exciting things coming from the group in the next year and hopes Cape Bretoners will stay tuned and join in the efforts. 

Dylan would like to give a special shout out to his mother as well as members of the CBEA past and present for their continued support in helping him to grow such a wonderful organization. We are incredibly proud of Dylan and know he will continue to make a difference in the world for years to come! 

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