Hunter Coughlin with the California Travel Association’s Emerging Leader Award presented by Patti MacJannett

PALM DESERT, CALIFORNIA, USA, October 4, 2022 / — The California Travel Association presented its awards during its annual Summit Conference on Monday. Smithsonian-affiliated Aquarium of the Bay’s Hunter Coughlin was presented with the Emerging Leader Award.

Aquarium of the Bay, President & CEO George Jacob said in a statement, “This award recognizes individuals in the California Travel & Tourism Industry, under the age of 30 years old, who have contributed through their individual efforts, to the promotion of travel, tourism, and hospitality in California. These exceptional individuals have demonstrated the skills, talents, attitudes, and initiative that are the hallmarks of emerging leaders.”

Hunter joined Aquarium of the Bay during the summer of 2019 as an intern and was selected to fill a newly created promotions role which he continued remotely during his senior year at the University of Delaware. Graduating from the University of Delaware in Fall 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a concentration in marine science, Hunter joined the Aquarium of the Bay’s Marketing Team full time in February 2020.

Established 42 years ago as the Bay Institute, Bay.Org/BayEcotarium and its seven branches are united under one mission to enable conversations on climate resilience and ocean conservation globally, while inspiring actionable change locally by protection and preservation of the San Francisco Bay and its ecosystems, from Sierra to the Sea™. Visit

BayEcotarium, one of the largest non-profit watershed conservation groups in the Bay Area which includes the Smithsonian affiliated Aquarium of the Bay, is marking its transformation to become a first of its kind BayEcotarium – an immersive, sustainability-driven, and multi-disciplinary education, research and climate leadership facility.

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