Hero of the Seas Award

Karen Garrison and Kaitilin Gaffney

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 long and arduous process, resulted in a world-class system of ocean wilderness parks. As of late 2012 these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) cover 16 percent of California state waters. While working for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ocean Conservancy, Karen and Kaitilin kept their focus on grassroots organizing.

In the words of California Secretary for Natural Resource’s John Laird, “They were incredibly successful in persuading others to their view because they listened to people’s concerns, and worked with them to find solutions that worked for all.”


To contact Co-Founder, Wendy Benchley, please email Wendy's Executive Assistant Mary Fritz, mary@wendybenchley.com


To contact Co-Founder, David Helvarg, please email, helvarg@bluefront.org