Loggerhead Marinelife Center Announces Go Blue Award Finalists

Awards Recognize Businesses & Individuals That Are Leaders in Ocean Conservation

A conservation-minded crowd gathered at PGA National Resort & Spa’s I-Bar on September 8th for the kick-off of Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s 3rd Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon and announcement of the 2011 award finalists. A panel of judges selected 13 finalists in four categories from countless nominations. Winners in each category will be revealed at the 3rd Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon on October 21, 2011 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, featuring keynote speaker and world renowned ocean conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle. WPTV News Channel 5 Meteorologist Glenn Glazer will 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 marine conservation education through their work or volunteer activities. Finalists for the award include Jim Abernethy, West Palm Beach, Shark Conservationist, Jim Abernethy’s SCUBA Adventures; Anja Burns, North Palm Beach, volunteer, Loggerhead Marinelife Center; and Michael Hughes, Sevierville, TN, Founder, Great Smokey Mountains Watershed Initiative.

The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in marine conservation in south Florida through volunteer related activities. Award finalists include Lauren Arango, Stuart, Clinical Manager, David L. Smythe Wound Center, Martin Memorial Hospital; Missy and Lilly Tougas, Ft. Pierce, volunteers, Ocean Rehab Initiative and Wyland Foundation; and Joe Zavertnik, Jupiter, volunteer, Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

The Blue Friend of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through work-related activities. Award finalists include Steven Allen, Lake Worth, Teacher and Department Instructional Leader, Palm Beach Maritime Academy; Sonja Fordham, Washington, D.C., Founder & President, Shark Advocates International; Susan Murray, Jeaneau, AK, Senior Director, Oceana Pacific; and Winifred Perkins, Bainbridge Island, WA, Manager of Environmental Services, NextEra Energy Resources Inc. and FPL.

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 Edge Recycling; Nozzle Nolen; and Rapid Removal.

Sylvia Earle is the 2011 Go Blue Awards Luncheon keynote speaker. Photo by Kip Evans.

Luncheon speaker Dr. Sylvia Earle, called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and the first “Hero for the Planet,” is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist. Former chief scientist of NOAA, Earle has a B.S. from Florida State University, an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Duke University, and 15 honorary degrees. She has authored more than 150 scientific, technical, and popular publications, lectured in more than 60 countries, and appeared in hundreds of television productions.

The 2011 Go Blue Luncheon committee members are Chelsea Albertz, Brenna Bertam-Salman, Bob Chlebek, Tommy Cutt, Pam Dyar, Rosemary Eastman, Vicki Gerard, Lynne Gibbons, Jessica Ivers, Deborah Jaffe, Brian Johnson, Kelli Johnson, Judy Lamb, Tom Longo, David McClymont, Brittany Jo Miller, Mark and Kay Odom, Beverly Reddington, Barbara Savastano, Debbie Smith, and Lynne and Pete Wells. The panel of judges that selected this year’s finalists and winners includes 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; Brian Skerry, Photojournalist, National Geographic; and Dr. Edie Widder, President/CEO & Senior Scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association.

Loggerhead Club & Marina is an Indian Ocean sponsor of the event. Southern Ocean sponsors include Anchor Bank, Bob Chlebek, FPL, and Lynne & Pete Wells. In-kind sponsors include Lilly Pulitzer, PGA National Resort & Spa, Sequin LLC, Tiffany & Co. Palm Beach Gardens and Whole Foods Market. PBG Lifestyle Magazine is the luncheon’s exclusive magazine sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available.

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. Previous Go Blue Award recipients include Nathaniel Reed, Everglades Foundation; Capt. Donald Voss, Marine Cleanup Initiative; Dr. Edith Widder, Ocean Research & Conservation Association; Florida Power & Light Company; Gary Adkison, U.S. Shark Foundation; International Game Fish Association; Michael J. Bresette, Inwater Research; and Radio Green Earth.

To purchase tickets to the 3rd Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon, or to learn more about sponsoring the luncheon, visit marinelife.org/bluefriends.