2017

Hero of the Seas Award, 2017

Robin Alden, is the Founding Executive Director of the Penobscot East Resource Center (PERC), Maine’s center for coastal fisheries based in Stonington, Maine. She co-founded the organization in...

Excellence in Policy, 2017

Senator Blumenthal is a lifelong law enforcement leader and strong proponent for consumer protections, environmental stewardship, and labor rights. He was an early and outspoken voice in calling...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2017

At the very young age of 7 and 8, this Georgia based brother and sister duo were motivated to start a ‘company’ that could help protect endangered species. The sight of sea turtles covered in oil...

Excellence in Science, 2017

Dr. Halpern is a Professor of Marine Ecology and Conservation Planning at UC Santa Barbara. He is renowned for research that analyzes a broad range of complex questions spanning local to global...

Excellence in Media, 2017

Educating the public to the challenges our ocean planet faces is a daunting task. That is why the One World One Ocean media campaign was launched in 2011 to bring even greater focus and advocacy...

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2017

Susi Pudjiastuti, the Republic of Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs, was appointed by President Joko Widodo in 2014. Minister Susi has aggressively protected her nation’s economic and...

Sustained Ocean Achievement, 2017
Joshua S. Reichert and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Ocean Group, Honored for Sustained Ocean Achievement

For almost three decades, Dr. Reichert, and the Oceans Group of the Pew Charitable Trusts, have relentlessly focused their attention on pushing decision-makers to protect the world’s oceans. ...

To fully utilize and protect the ocean requires good planning which is why this year’s Solutions Award is going to three model programs that engage a wide range of ocean stakeholders including...

Excellence in Policy, 2017

Senator Schatz grew up in Hawai‘i where he developed a true passion and reverence for the ocean. Upon taking office in 2012, he made protecting the ocean one of his top priorities. In June 2016,...

Excellence in Science, 2017

Dr. Sumaila is Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia. He received his Ph.D. from Bergen University, Norway, and holds a B.Sc. with...

2016

Excellence in Science, 2016

Barbara Block is the Charles & Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences Evolutionary, Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Stanford University. She received her PhD from Duke University...

Excellence in Solutions, 2016

Dr. Costello is a professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of California Santa Barbara’s Bren School. Upon receiving his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2000, Costello went...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2016

Bilingual, bicoastal, and bilateral—Serge Dedina has spent his entire life focused on protecting both sides of the California and Baja California marine coasts.

An avid surfer and swimmer...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2016

21-year-old Daniela Fernandez, born in Ecuador, became passionate about climate change after watching Al Gore's ‘An Inconvenient Truth when she was in elementary school.

She currently is a...

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2016

President Remengesau Jr., the eighth President of the Republic of Palau, is the first Palauan to be elected as President three times. Over the past 2 decades in office, he has consistently...

Excellence in Marine Exploration, 2016

Tara Expeditions Foundation, is a French, ship-based non-profit established in 2003 by Agnès Troublé, founder and inspiration for the agnès b. brand and her son Étienne Bourgois, to celebrate...

Excellence in Media, 2016

Ian Urbina is an award winning investigative journalist for The New York Times.  Based in the Washington Bureau, Urbina has reported on many high-profile issues, producing exposés covering a wide...

Excellence in Policy, 2016

Dr. David Wilmot has over 30 years of experience in ocean science and policy and is co-founder of Ocean Champions, a highly respected organization dedicated to making the health of our public...

2015

Hero of the Seas Award, 2015

Protecting the air, water and landscape that make South Carolina a special place has been Dana Beach’s life’s work. He was twenty-eight when he quit his job as a New York investment banker, got...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2015

Coastal North Carolinian native Todd Miller was raised fittingly in the community of “Ocean” where he and his sisters spent endless joyful hours swimming, sailing, fishing, shrimping, and...

Excellence in Science, 2015

Dr. Daniel Pauly is a preeminent authority on global fisheries and has identified overfishing as a major threat to global food security. He is the founder and principal investigator at the “Sea...

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2015

Prince Albert II is a fourth generation ocean champion, who has followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Prince Albert I and his father Prince Rainier III—both strong proponents of...

Excellence in Policy, 2015

 "Our ocean is in trouble. The entire world must come together to try to change course and protect the ocean from unsustainable fishing practices, unprecedented pollution, and the devastating...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2015

“I work for sharks, they are everything to me,” says Madison Stewart. The 21-year-old Australian underwater filmmaker has been swimming with sharks for over a decade and has made it her life's...

Excellence in Media, 2015

The Economist has been an influential weekly news publication since 1843 with a contemporary circulation of some 1.5 million highly educated readers.  Unlike many news outlets where...

Excellence in Marine Exploration, 2015

Charles Nainoa Thompson is a native Hawaiian navigator and the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. He is best known as the first Hawaiian in seven centuries to practice the ancient...

2014

Excellence in Media, 2014

First time documentary director Gabriela Cowperthwaite created a powerful work of investigative reporting in her widely seen Blackfish. The film takes a close look at important issues of...

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2014
Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for the European Union, Greek politician and author, Maria Damanaki has initiated and enforced groundbreaking policies to end illegal fishing...

Excellence in Science, 2014

Steve Gaines is Dean at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. Steve is a pioneer in the field of sustainable fisheries management, where he has led research...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2014

Captain Charles Moore grew up on the Pacific Ocean, sailing from a young age. He founded the Algalita Marine Research Institute in 1994 “to protect and restore the marine environment.” In 1997...

Excellence in Policy, 2014

Secretary Leon Panetta was born and raised on the scenic Monterey Bay coastline of California, an area he later served as a Member of Congress before becoming Chief of Staff in the Clinton White...

Excellence in Marine Exploration, 2014

An avid scuba diver and conservationist, his Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Sultan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, established a visionary ocean research and expeditionary non-profit in 2000,...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2014

16-year-old Casey Sokolovic is a native of North Carolina and the founder of L.A.S.T. (Love A Sea Turtle) whose motto is lets “Help Them LAST.” She began supporting sea turtles at the age eight...

2013

Excellence in Media, 2013

In 1999 leading ocean scientists and communications professionals established COMPASS to train marine scientists in communications skills needed to talk to the media, the public and policymakers...

Excellence in Science, 2013

Dr. Boris Worm and Dr. Heike Lotze Working both separately and in collaboration this husband and wife team of scientists from Dalhousie University in Canada have continued to expand on the work...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2013

Karen Garrison and Kaitilin Gaffney worked together for more than a decade leading the effort to create, design and implement California’s 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) that, following a...

Excellence in Policy, 2013

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) has a strong record of support for the oceans including as an outspoken critic of offshore drilling and BP during its oil blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2013

Twenty-year-old Sean Russell became aware of the problem of marine plastic pollution as a high school intern at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida. In response he founded the “Stow It-Don’t Throw...

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2013
Macky Sall, President of Senegal

As one of his first acts after his election in 2012, President Sall rescinded the licenses of 29 pelagic fishing vessels belonging to foreign countries in Senegal’s Exclusive Economic Zone....

2012

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2012

Ta'Kaiya is a ten-year-old first-nations Canadian activist and singer fighting a proposed tar sands oil pipeline and tanker terminal planned for British Columbia's coastal waters. When she...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2012

Peter helped create the California Coastal Commission and organized efforts to get it passed as a popular initiative in 1972. He wrote the language of the Coastal Act passed into law in 1976 and...

Excellence in Solutions, 2012

Knatz is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, “America’s Port.” She is both the first woman and first marine biologist...

Excellence in Marine Exploration, 2012

Inspired by a challenge from ocean explorer Sylvia Earle, Ocean in Google Earth has become a portal for...

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2012

President Tong, recently re-elected for a third term in office, has become a globally recognized figure for his work on climate response, ocean protection and multinational collaboration. He was...

Excellence in Science, 2012

Nancy is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in the coastal Bayou town of...

Excellence in Policy, 2012

From the "Ocean State" of Rhode Island, Senator Whitehouse has become a major champion of marine protection in Congress. He recently introduced...

Excellence in Media, 2012

Skerry’s photography is often seen in the pages of National Geographic Magazine. He balances the wonder of the living seas with thoughtful...

2011

Excellence in National Stewardship, 2011

For expanded protection of the waters around Cocos Island

Laura Chinchilla Miranda was elected president of Costa Rica in 2010 and sworn in as President on May 8, 2010. She is the nation’s...

Excellence in Media, 2011

A born-and-bred Washingtonian, Juliet Eilperin graduated in 1992 magna cum laude from Princeton University, where she received a bachelor’s in Politics with a certificate in Latin American...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2011

For her career leading People for Puget Sound

Kathy Fletcher is founder and former executive director of People For Puget Sound, a...

Excellence in Science, 2011

For his work using genetic technologies to improve marine conservation.

Stephen Palumbi teaches and does research in evolution and marine biology at Stanford University, and has long been...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2011

Rudy Sanchez is a youth leader, speaker and environmental advocate. As a senior at Environmental Charter High School, Rudy spent his first couple years of secondary education as the shy student...

Excellence in Solutions, 2011

For his work establishing the Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Dr. Stone is Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist for Oceans with ...

Excellence in Policy, 2011

For his work on U.S. Arctic and Ocean Policy and Disaster Response Leadership

Admiral Thad W. Allen assumed the duties of the 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 25th, 2006...

2010

Excellence in Science, 2010

Jesse H. Ausubel is Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University and Vice President for Programs...

Ocean Spirit Foundation Award, 2010

Established in September 2000, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation seeks to create positive outcomes for future generations. The Foundation...

Excellence in Policy, 2010

Dr. Jane Lubchenco has been the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA since 2009. ...

Excellence in Media, 2010

Louie Psihoyos, Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society...

Hero of the Seas Award, 2010

Cynthia M. Sarthou has served as Executive Director of the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) since 1995.  The GRN is committed to uniting and...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2010

Kyle Theirmann is a pro surfer with a passion to systemically affect change. Combining surfing great waves around the world with making...

Excellence in Marine Exploration, 2010

Dr. Walsh is an oceanographer, explorer and retired Navy captain whose career was in submarines. In 1960, Walsh and Jacques Piccard dove to the oceans’ deepest place in the Navy’s Bathyscaph...

2009

Hero of the Seas Award, 2009

Richard Charter is a Senior Policy Advisor for Marine Programs for Defenders of Wildlife, working on...

Excellence in Policy, 2009

Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA), a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state's beautiful Central Coast. Throughout his 18-year tenure...

Excellence in Science, 2009

Jeremy Jackson is Director of CMBC, the William E. and Mary B. Ritter Professor of Oceanography at the...

Excellence in Science, 2009

Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and conservation of coral reef...

Excellence in Media, 2009

Mark Shelley is a Founder and the Executive Director of Sea Studios Foundation, a non-profit team of filmmakers, scientists, and...

Christopher Benchley Youth Award, 2009

Zander Srodes, at age eleven, created Turtle Talks – an interactive sea turtle seminar for children. In 2004, he wrote a sea...

2004

Hero of the Seas Award, 2004

Dery Bennett joined the Littoral Society staff in 1968 as conservation director and was its executive director until 2002. A graduate of Amherst and a Navy underwater demolition driver, he worked...

Excellence in Policy, 2004

Senator Hollings served as a Democratic Senator for the State of South Carolina from 1966 until 2005. He was born in Charleston, attended undergraduate studies at The Citadel and earned his law...

Excellence in Science, 2004

Dr. Myers held the Killam Chair of Ocean Studies at Halhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He published over 100 refereed scientific publications in diverse fields of aquatic ecology. ...

Excellence in Media, 2004

The Naples Daily News was recognized in 2004 as a recipient in the inaugural awards. As the source of news for people in western Florida, this newspaper pays careful attention to matters...