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Yonel Grant grew up in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France and the US. His passion for the ocean began as an eight-year-old snorkeling in Corsica. Every summer he came back with his family, and he gradually became aware of the harmful effects of excessive tourism, cigarette and plastic pollution, and overfishing.

Yonel’s career has been far from marine conservation – he advises local and state governments in transportation finance and governance. Nevertheless, he was able to pursue his diving passion in close to 20 countries. He joined MCI to build on his individual volunteering actions and make a bigger impact on marine conservation.

Yonel’s early association with MCI includes volunteering with Alcatrazes Archipelago Wildlife Refuge, Brazil, one of MCI’s latest Blue Parks. Alcatrazes has special significance because Yonel and his wife Melissa plan to retire on the nearby island of Ilhabela where they recently bought a home. They spend the majority of the year in their San Francisco Bay Area home with their two dogs, Leo and Eve.