Advisory: May 21, 2011
Contact: Trevor FitzGibbon, 202.406.0646, Trevor@FitzGibbonMedia.com
Jaws Author Inspires
Academy Awards of Ocean Conservation
Prestigious Fourth Annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards Ceremony May 21 in Washington, DC
Honorees Include President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica, Admiral Thad Allen, Washington Post Reporter, Juliet Eilperin, Dr. Steve Palumbi and Many Others
Awards to Be Presented by TED Award Winner Dr. Sylvia Earle
Washington, DC – The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin, Conservation International Scientist Dr. Greg Stone and Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation Dr. Steve Palumbi, President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica, Admiral Thad Allen (U.S. Coast Guard – Ret.), Student Activist Rudy Sanchez, and Founder of People for Puget Sound Kathy Fletcher, are among the recipients of the highly regarded Fourth Annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards to be held at The George Washington University’s Marvin Center on May 21, 2011 under the sponsorship of the Blue Frontier Campaign. The 2009 TED Award Winner and National Geographic explorer in residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle, will be the master of ceremonies.
Named for the author of Jaws, the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards celebrate the life and legacy of Benchley who spent more than 40 years educating the public and expanding awareness of the importance of protecting sharks and our ocean ecosystems. It is the only high-profile award that specifically acknowledges “individual excellence” across a broad range of important categories including science, policy, media, national stewardship, innovative solutions, advocacy, and volunteer efforts. These awards celebrate exceptional marine conservation efforts that lead to the protection of our oceans, our coasts and the communities that depend on them.
Philanthropist and activist Ms. Wendy Benchley, herself a trailblazer, said of the awards and her late husband’s legacy, “Peter was not only a brilliant writer, but a true conservationist and he would have wanted these awards to honor the heroes and warriors that are continuing to fight in the same spirit and commitment to the sea that Peter embodied.”
“Jaws,” Benchley continued, “was a game-changer and inspired generations of ocean conservationists and scientists to explore and protectEarth’s last great frontier.”
Venerable past recipients of the Peter Benchley Ocean Award include: Academy Award-Winning Director (“The Cove”) Louie Psihoyos, NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, U.S. Representative Sam Farr, and deep ocean explorer Don Walsh.
More than 500 ocean leaders from conservation, science, policy, recreation and other marine-related areas participating in Blue Vision Summit 3 will celebrate seven of their colleagues during the 4th Annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards.
Award recipient in Media, Juliet Eilperin, said, “to receive a Benchley award is an honor. Peter was a trailblazer whose work had a profound effect on all of us.”
Scientists Steve Palumbi, at Stanford University and Greg Stone, at Conservation International, have long worked on very different aspects of our changing oceans. Dr. Palumbi is the geneticist who traveled to Japan to set up a molecular biology lab in a hotel room and test whale meat to find out what species it was. The work also uncovered toxic dolphin meat being sold as whale, helping inspire the Academy Award winning movie The Cove. Dr. Stone traveled to a far flung set of islands in the Pacific, the Phoenix Islands, and was so taken by their diversity and the beauty of their reefs that he changed his career to dedicate it to protecting them.
This year’s award categories include: Science, Policy, Solutions, Media, National Stewardship, Youth Activist, and Hero of the Seas. Given Blue Frontier Campaign’s mission to “raise awareness of the solution-oriented seaweed (marine grassroots) community”, the Hero of the Seas Award will continue to raise the profile of a deserving but under-acknowledged grassroots leader.
WHO: Dr. Sylvia Earle, Juliet Eilperin, President Laura Chinchilla, Rudy Sanchez, Dr. Steve Palumbi, Admiral Thad Allen, Dr. Greg Stone, Kathy Fletcher, and pastaward recipients including Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Louie Psihoyos, surfer Kyle Thiermann, Dr. Jeremy Jackson, Cynthia Sarthou, and photojournalist Brian Skerry.
Complete list of presenters is available here.
WHAT: Fourth Annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards
WHERE: The George Washington University Marvin Center 800 21st Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052
WHEN: May 21, 2011
5:30 pm -7:00 pm
For more information please contact Trevor FitzGibbon at 202.406.0646, Trevor@FitzGibbonMedia.com