10th Annual Awards Celebration in Washington, DC, May 11, 2017

2017 Benchley Ocean Awards will be held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History featuring Sant Ocean Hall

2017 marks the 10th anniversary year for the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. The highlight of our year is honoring our Award winners at our annual ceremony and gala, which we are hosting in Washington, D.C. on May 11, 2017.  We are excited to introduce a new Awards format designed to showcase the remarkable stories of our 2017 Award winners and to encourage mingling and conversation between our Benchley winners and our guests as they enjoy cocktails and a lively strolling dinner celebration.

'The Ocean of Tomorrow' Symposium

10th Annual Benchley Ocean Awards events will run throughout the day on May 11, kicking off with a high-level marine leadership symposium – “The Ocean of Tomorrow,” co-sponsored with the Blue Vision Summit and hosted at the PEW Charitable Trusts' headquarters.  This will be open to the public from 10:30 am – 12:00 noon.

Four of this year’s Peter Benchley Ocean Award winners will discuss how they are using national policy, science and communications to help respond to threats facing our ocean planet and provide solutions that benefit our ocean communities both human and wild.

Susi Pudjiastuti, the Minister of Marine Affairs for the Republic of Indonesia has aggressively protected her nation from intrusion by illegal foreign fishing fleets and organized crime rings to the benefit of both the ecosystem and the local fishing economy. Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila of the University of British Columbia and Dr. Ben Halpern of the University of California Santa Barbara have used economic and computational science, big data and conservation planning models to better understand global fisheries, predict overall health of the Ocean, and to create standards for sustainable action.  And Greg MacGillivray and his family have used media, including 200 giant screen IMAX films in 30 countries to educate millions to the warnings and wonders of the seas through their One World One Ocean project.  These solution-oriented leaders will talk about next steps for protecting our coasts & ocean and the panel discussion will be moderated by our 2011 Benchley Solutions Award winner, Dr. Greg Stone, Chief Ocean Scientist at Conservation International.

Immediately following the Symposium there will be a private working luncheon for sponsors with all of the 2017 Benchley Award winners and other ocean heroes. The 2017 Awards ceremony will begin at 6:30 pm in the evening and will continue with a strolling gala dinner and dessert reception from 8:00 - 10:00 pm.