September 26, 2014 – Juno Beach, FL – A conservation-minded crowd gathered at PGA National Resort & Spa on September 25 for the kick off of Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Sixth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon and announcement of the 2014 award finalists. A panel of judges selected finalists in five categories from countless nominations. Winners in each category will be revealed at the Sixth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon on November 7 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, featuring world renowned oceanographer Fabien Cousteau, as keynote speaker. WPTV News Channel 5 Meteorologist Glenn Glazer will once again emcee the event.
The Eleanor Fletcher Award, named for the founder of Loggerhead Marinelife Center, recognizes an individual who has exemplified a lifelong, extraordinary commitment to ocean conservation education through their work or volunteer activities. Finalists for the award include Dr. Eugenie Clark, Mote Marine Institute; Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, Florida Atlantic University; and Wyland, Wyland Foundation/Artist.
The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation in south Florida through volunteer related activities. Award finalists include Laura Eldredge, Marine Rescue Animal Society; Nyla Pipes, River Warriors and Angela Smith, Shark Savers/WildAid.
The Blue Friend of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through work-related activities. Award finalists include Rick Brochu, Florida Fishing Academy; Scott & Karen Lamberson, “Professor Clark, the Science Shark” creators; Congressman Patrick Murphy, U.S. House of Representatives; Thomas Reinert, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission; Adriana Sanchez-Lindsay, Sea Delight LLC; Rebecca Shearer, South Florida Science Center; and Pamela Sweeney, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves, FL. Department of Environmental Protection.
The Blue Hatchling Youth Award (new for 2014) recognizes a person under age 17 who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer related activities. Award finalists include Faith Blackall, Ocean’s Daughter Conservation Alliance; Christian, Derek, and Landon Petrisko, Wild Over Wildlife; Ella Rhodes; Gage Steffen, Scuba Kidz; and Lilly & Trent Tougas.
The Blue Business of the Year Award recognizes a business that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting and encouraging conservation, restoration, or preservation of marine life and/or marine ecosystems through their business practices, products or technology. Finalists for the award include Motorized Kayak Adventures; Patagonia; Pura Vida Divers; Sea Delight, LLC; Sea Turtle Conservancy; and Worth Avenue Association.
Fabien Cousteau, first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, is a world renowned ocean conservationist who, most recently, spent 31 days underwater in the Florida Keys. Fabien Cousteau’s “Mission 31” broke new ground in ocean exploration and also coincided with the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Fabien’s incredible work for Mission 31 has been covered by BBC World News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, National Geographic, New York Daily News, NPR, PBS, Popular Science, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post, The Weather Channel, Time Magazine, and many more. In addition, many ocean conservationists paid him a visit at the Aquarius lab, including past Go Blue Awards Luncheon speaker and judge, Sylvia Earle.
The 2014 Go Blue Luncheon committee members are Anita Bailey, Nicki Brower, Bob Chlebek, Becky Collier, Rosemary Eastman, Janet Edwards, Jerri Engelbrecht, Jackie Fay-Hickman, Luisa Frasco, Vicki Gerard, Lynne Gibbons, Adam Gutin, Brittany Gutin, Kelli Johnson, Brian Johnson, Judy Lamb, Chelsea Lasater, Brittany Miller, Michelle Morris, Betsy Munson, Beverly Reddington, Barbara Savastano, Bonnie Siegfried, Carl Stearns, Telby Turner, and Pete & Lynne Wells.
The panel of judges that selected this year’s finalists and winners includes Dr. Gary Adkison, Director, U.S. Shark Foundation; James Harvey, Co-Chairman, Guy Harvey Foundation; Greg Marshall, Biologist, Inventor, and Filmmaker, National Geographic; Sally Murray, daughter of Loggerhead Marinelife Center Founder Eleanor Fletcher; Susan Murray, granddaughter of Loggerhead Marinelife Center Founder Eleanor Fletcher, Senior Director, Oceana Pacific; and Jim Toomey, Mission Blue Executive Director, Creator of Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip.
Sponsors of the Go Blue Awards Luncheon include Barbara Savastano, Bob Chlebek, Florida Power & Light, Florida Weekly, Gretchen Scott, Hoffman’s Chocolate, Jupiter Magazine, Loggerhead Marina, Lynne & Pete Wells, The Capital Grille, The Gardens Mall, Tiffany & Co., PGA National Resort & Spa, Pratt & Whitney, Susan & Ross Johnson, and Whole Foods Market.
The Go Blue Awards program was created to recognize individuals and businesses that directly or indirectly support Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s mission to promote conservation of Florida’s coastal ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. Last year’s Go Blue Award recipients include Dr. Guy Harvey, Artist, Conservationist and Founder, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation; Kirt Rusenko, PhD, Marine Conservationist, City of Boca Raton/Gumbo Limbo Nature Center; Marty Baum, Indian Riverkeeper, Indian River Lagoon; and Coral Restoration Foundation.
To purchase tickets to the Sixth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon, or to learn more about sponsoring the luncheon, visit marinelife.org/bluefriends.