Annual Go Blue Awards

The Twelfth Annual Go Blue Awards
October 23, 2020

The Annual Go Blue Awards recognizes individuals, youth, businesses and nonprofit organizations who are making extraordinary contributions in ocean conservation and are on the leading edge of going "Blue!" This year, the event featured renowned photographer Joel Sartore, as the keynote speaker who has dedicated 25 years with National Geographic Magazine.

Due to this year’s unique circumstances, LMC hosted the event virtually on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Congratulations 2020 Go Blue Awards Recipients!

Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime
Achievement Award

Lad Akins


Blue Ambassador Award
Jillian Morris


Blue Friend Award
Daniela Fernandez

Blue Hatchling Youth Award

Miles Fetherston-Resch

Blue Business Award


Blue Nonprofit Award


Watch Virtual Kick-Off

Watch music by Nicole Carbajal while we announce our 2020 Go Blue Award Finalists.

Special Guest Speaker: Joel Sartore


Sartore’s books include Photo Ark: A World Worth Saving, RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky, and Let's Be Reasonable.

When he’s not travelling the world photographing wildlife, Sartore lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

This year, the event will feature renowned photographer Joel Sartore, as the keynote speaker who has dedicated 25 years with National Geographic Magazine. In addition to being a life-risking wildlife photographer, Sartore is also an acclaimed speaker, author, teacher, and creator of the National Geographic project, The Photo Ark. The Photo Ark is the largest collection of animal studio portraits in the world.

Sartore’s keynote presentation will take guests on a journey packed with humor, inspiration, and personal anecdotes from the field while sharing his career insights on raising awareness to save species from extinction.

Growing up in Nebraska, Joel Sartore was surrounded by animals and nature. “My father took me hunting, fishing, and mushroom hunting,” he recalls. “And my mother always loved backyard birds and flowers. Because my parents cared about the natural world, I care about it too.”

As the founder of the Photo Ark, a multiyear documentary project to save species and their habitats, Sartore has become a tireless chronicler of endangered species and landscapes. So far, he has shot images of more than 8,500 species. His aim is to create studio-style portraits of all animal species in human care around the world – an estimated 12,000 species at least.

Joel and the Photo Ark are also the subjects of the television series RARE, in which he documents some of the most endangered creatures left on Earth. “It’s folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity,” he says. “When we save species, we're actually saving ourselves.”

The goal of the Photo Ark isn't just to create a record of what we’ve squandered. It’s to get people to change how they think and act in order to save these species.

In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Sartore has contributed to Audubon magazine, TIME, Life, Sports Illustrated, and has produced numerous books. Sartore and his work have been the subjects of several national broadcasts, including 60 Minutes, National Geographic's Explorer, NBC Nightly News, PBS Newshour, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and NBC’s Today. He also contributes to CBS Sunday Morning.


Sponsor & Private Reception Sponsor

Atlantic Ocean Sponsor

Hatchling Youth Award Sponsor
Pete & Lynne

Pacific Ocean Sponsor

Blue Business Award Sponsor

Arctic Ocean Sponsor
Monique Brechter &
Steven Heinemann

Arctic Ocean Sponsor

Arctic Ocean Sponsor

Arctic Ocean Sponsor
Allan & Crista Ryan

Arctic Ocean Sponsor
Bart & Julie Livolsi

Arctic Ocean Sponsor

Arctic Ocean Sponsor

Kirstin & Telby Turner

Arctic Ocean Sponsor
Chip Block &
Leanna Landsmann

Arctic Ocean Sponsor

Digital Program Sponsor

Award Categories

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 through their work or volunteer activities.

The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer related activities.

The Blue Friend of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through work-related activities.

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.

The Blue Business of the Year Award recognizes a business or non-profit 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.

The Blue Nonprofit of the Year Award will recognize a nonprofit that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting conservation or restoration of marine life or ecosystems through their practices, products or technology.

Go Blue Awards Nominations are open to the public and are judged by an independent panel of judges. The esteemed panel of judges that will select this year’s finalists and winners includes; Gary & Brenda Adkison – U.S. Shark Foundation, Director; Fabien Cousteau – Aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker; Glenn Glazer – Meteorologist; Greg MarshallMarine biologist and filmmaker. Inventor of Crittercam; Cristina Mittermeier – Contributing Photographer, Speaker, and Explorer for National Geographic; Sally Murray – Daughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher; Susan Murray – Oceana Deputy Vice President U.S. Pacific, Granddaughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher; Paul Nicklen – Acclaimed National Geographic Photographer, Biologist and Conservationist; Jim Toomey – Former Mission Blue Executive Director, Creator of Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip; and Dr. Edith Widder – Ocean Research & Conservation Association.

The Go Blue Awards program was created to recognize individuals and businesses that directly or indirectly support LMC’s mission to promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. 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.

Please note, there are no refunds or exchanges for purchased tickets. All sales are final.