GRAYSLAKE — An advocate and proponent of conservation and the environment herself, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is congratulating a local high school graduate for being one of just five recipients of a statewide conservation scholarship.


Mariama Bah, a New Tech High at Zion-Benton East graduate, received the 2021 Conservation Achievement Scholarship through the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Bah was awarded $2,000 for her research on erosion along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

“Mariama has proven she has a bright future ahead of her — before even entering college,” Bush said. “Her interest in conservation combined with her intellectual curiously have demonstrated a real commitment to making a difference. Her work will have a positive impact on the Zion community for many years.”

On a visit to Lake Michigan, Bah noticed the amount of sand on the beach had washed away. Bah’s curiosity and academic background led her to embark on a stewardship project alongside Lake County’s Center for Conservation Leadership. She collected data and helped scientists measure and document the impacts of the shoreline’s erosion.

With a passion for the helping the world around her, Bah also researched and wrote on environmental justice issues and impacts on people and their communities.

“It is always encouraging to see young people involved in ways that will benefit their communities and the sustainability of the planet.” Bush said. “Encouraging more students to take in and analyze the nature around them will help create a better tomorrow. I thank Mariama for her work, and congratulate her on her recent and future success.”

Bah plans to attend Northwestern University.


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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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Phone: (847) 548-5631