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Last chance to nominate an ocean conservation hero for Florida’s most preeminent ocean conservation awards event

2016 winners: Brooke Welch, Dr. Derek Burkholder, Jennifer Nolan (accepted on Louie Psihoyos’ behalf), Scott Harris, Eric Call (Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation)

The Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon will feature globally-acclaimed photographer and renowned National Geographic ocean conservationist Brian Skerry

Loggerhead Marinelife Center will accept nominations until Friday, Aug. 25 for Florida’s most prestigious ocean conservation awards ceremony, the Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon, presented by Manatee Lagoon – an FPL Eco-Discovery Center.

The speaker

This year’s luncheon will feature one of the most influential ocean conservationists of our day,  award-winning National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry who will serve as keynote speaker. Skerry is one of the world’s most awarded photographic conservationists and is regarded as one of the leading voices (and artists) for ocean conservation.  His uniquely-creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our world ocean and its inhabitants.

About the luncheon

The Go Blue Awards Luncheon is Florida’s most preeminent ocean conservation awards event.  In its ninth year, the Go Blue Awards Luncheon recognizes those who promote, implement or contribute to a “blue” lifestyle of marine conservation and continuously lead the way in raising awareness and making significant contributions to improve and protect our oceans, beaches and wildlife. Florida is known for its pristine beaches, coastlines and ecosystems, charming guests from around the planet. Because of this, LMC celebrates the renowned conservation heroes who are committed to protecting our planet’s environment, which powers Florida’s economy.

Previous award nominees have ranged from the notable conservation efforts of youth, volunteers and individuals to businesses and non-profits and have included top marine scientists and influencers. These recipients represent what it means to “go blue” in every aspect of their lives or business.

“When people ask me how the Go Blue Awards Luncheon began eight years ago, I share my favorite quote from Dr. Sylvia Earle, a preeminent ocean conservationist of our time,” said Lynne Wells, LMC board member and Go Blue Awards chair and founder. “She says, ‘No water, no life; no blue, no green. With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea, no matter where on earth you live.’ Dr. Sylvia Earle is an inspiration to me, and that quote was the catalyst for these awards – to recognize those who make a significant difference for our blue planet, which gives life to everything on this earth.”

The nomination process

To nominate a person or business for a Go Blue Award, visit marinelife.org/bluefriends. An esteemed, independent panel of judges will select final candidates for each award, who are announced at the Blue Friends Society Cocktail Social at PGA National Resort and Spa on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 5:30 p.m. Winners are announced during the luncheon on Friday, Oct. 27 at PGA National and receive beautiful crystal awards provided by Tiffany & Co. Nominations are based on the following criteria:

  • 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.
  • The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award will recognize a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through volunteer-related activities.
  • The Blue Friend of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through work-related activities.
  • The Blue Hatchling Youth Award recognizes a youth K-12 who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer-related activities.
  • 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.

This year’s distinguished 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; 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; Joel Sartore, photographer, speaker, author, teacher and 20-year National Geographic Magazine contributor; Jim Toomey, Mission Blue executive director and Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip creator; and Dr. Edith Widder, CEO & senior scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association, Inc. WPTV News Channel 5 Meteorologist Glenn Glazer will again serve as the luncheon’s introductory host.

To learn more about the Go Blue Awards Luncheon, to purchase tickets or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit marinelife.org/bluefriends.