Nominations open for Florida’s preeminent ocean conservation awards, featuring Dr. Robert Ballard, National Geographic Explorer best known for discovering the Titanic

Hosted by Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), the Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon recognizes and awards four individuals and one business or nonprofit that promote, implement or contribute to a “blue” lifestyle of marine conservation and make significant contributions to improve and protect our oceans, beaches and wildlife.  The Presenting Sponsor of the 11th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon is Manatee Lagoon an FPL Eco-Discovery Center®.

Dr. Robert Ballard, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence best known for discovering the Titanic.

This year, the event will feature renowned oceanographer and underwater explorer Dr. Robert Ballard as our keynote speaker. Dr. Ballard’s international notoriety stems from his 1985 discovery of the RMS Titanic shipwreck. With over 125 ocean explorations logged and as National Geographic’s Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Ballard is among the most accomplished and well known of the world’s deep-sea explorers.  He is also credited with discovering hydrothermal vents.

Dr. Ballard’s keynote presentation will take guests on a journey infused with innovation, exploration, and discovery while sharing his career insights on the evolving state of our world’s oceans. 

Photo of Titanic
Rusted prow of the R.M.S. Titanic ocean liner, in the North Atlantic.

“Dr. Ballard’s deep ocean discovery of the Titanic is one of the most technically advanced expeditions ever led, and while the story of the Titanic has enchanted many, the insights from this discovery continue to educate us all about our ocean to this day.   Having the opportunity to welcome Dr. Ballard to Loggerhead Marinelife Center and to The Palm Beaches is one of the proudest moments of my career,”said Jack E. Lighton LMC’s President and CEO.  “The timing of Dr. Ballard’s visit and the topic of his presentation which will highlight innovation, exploration, and discovery is perfectly paired with our Waves of Progress expansion campaign.  Dr. Ballard will help us amplify our mission while recognizing our nominees who are joining LMC on the frontline of ocean conservation and education across our planet.” 

Nominations are open to local, national and international candidates.  To nominate a person or business in one of the award categories, visit  Nominations close on August 25. Finalists will be announced at the Blue Friends Society Social held in September.

Go Blue Awards Luncheon at the Kravis Center, 2018.

An esteemed, independent panel of judges will select final candidates for the awards. Winners in each category are announced during the Go Blue Awards Luncheon at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion in West Palm Beach on Friday, October 25.

Go Blue Award nominations: Five Distinct Categories:

-Lifetime Achievement: The Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a person who exemplifies a lifelong, extraordinary commitment to marine conservation through their work or volunteer activities similar to LMC Founder Eleanor Fletcher.

-Volunteerism: The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award will recognize a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through volunteer-related activities.

-Work/Career: The Blue Friend of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through work-related activities.

-Youth: The Blue Hatchling Youth Award recognizes students up to and including 12th grade who have made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer-related activities.

-Business / Corporate: The Blue Business of the Year Award will recognize a business that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting conservation or restoration of marine life or ecosystems through their practices, products or technology.

Previous Go Blue Award recipients include:

Dr. Guy Harvey, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation; Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue; Hardy Jones – Executive Director,; Nathaniel Reed, Everglades Foundation; Dr. Edith Widder, Ocean Research & Conservation Association; Florida Power & Light Company; Gary Adkison, U.S. Shark Foundation; International Game Fish Association; and Coral Restoration Foundation.

This year’s independent panel of judges includes:

Gary Adkison, U.S. Shark Foundation director; Fabien Cousteau, aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker; Greg Marshall, inventor and scientist, National Geographic Society; Cristina Mittermeier, award-winning photographer and marine biologist & Co-Founder SeaLegacy; Sally Murray, daughter of LMC Founder Eleanor Fletcher; Susan Murray, Oceana U.S. Pacific deputy vice president, granddaughter of LMC Founder Eleanor Fletcher; Paul Nicklen; photographer and marine biologist, National Geographic & Co-Founder SeaLegacy; Joel Sartore, photographer, speaker, author, teacher and 20-year National Geographic Magazine contributor & creator of PhotoArk; Brian Skerry, National Geographic award-winning photojournalist; and Jim Toomey, Mission Blue executive director, Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip creator.

For more information about the Go Blue Awards Luncheon, to purchase tickets or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit


About Loggerhead Marinelife Center:

Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more information, visit or call (561) 627-8280.

Media Contact:

Carla B. Mroz, PR & Communications Manager

561-627-8280, x124
Photos available upon request.