Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists!
The winners will be announced at the Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon,
being held at PGA National Resort & Spa on Friday, October 27, 2016.
Blue Ambassador of the Year Finalists:
The recipient of the Blue Ambassador of the Year Award exemplifies significant local contributions in marine conservation through volunteer-related activities.
Describe why the nominee became involved in marine conservation, their accomplishments, most significant impact, and how they inspired change.
Linda Cabot credits a lifetime of sailing for her love affair with the ocean. Feeling a deep concern for the health and future of our seas, she embarked on a sailing trip with her daughters in 2011 to create a documentary about environmental issues impacting the Gulf of Maine. This film, From the Bow Seat, continues to appear on Maine Public Television and serves as a resource for educators.
Producing the documentary engaged Linda and her daughters in a way that articles, textbooks, and lectures could not. Realizing the power of creative media to educate, inspire, and activate younger generations, Linda founded Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that motivates young people to become ocean caretakers through education and engagement with the arts, science, and advocacy.
Bow Seat’s signature initiative – the annual Ocean Awareness Student Contest – challenges middle and high schoolers to explore human impacts on ocean health through visual art, film, poetry, and prose. Nearly 10,000 teenagers worldwide have participated since the Contest launched in 2012, and more than $100,000 in scholarships have been awarded. In 2017, Bow Seat received entries from 63 countries and 48 U.S. states. The students’ creations demonstrate how the arts are a powerful tool that taps into human emotions and speaks to personal beliefs, which is necessary to drive a widespread cultural shift toward one that values the health of our coastal and marine ecosystems.
How do the nominee’s efforts directly or indirectly benefit marine life and ocean conservation?
Linda believes that students who learn by creating experience deeper knowledge and longer-lasting behavior change. Through her work with Bow Seat, Linda is engaging a new generation of ocean stewards who recognizes the challenges facing our blue planet and is motivated to take action and find creative solutions.
Besides hosting the annual Contest, Bow Seat promotes ocean conservation by sponsoring and participating in initiatives such as the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit in Florida, Healthy Ocean Hill Day in D.C., the High School Marine Science Symposium in Boston, and PangeaSeed Foundation’s international Sea Walls public art festivals. Bow Seat also provides classroom resources on ocean pollution topics and forges purposeful partnerships with like-minded organizations – such as Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, and Seacoast Science Center – to maximize efforts to protect the future of our oceans.
How have the contributions of the nominee been an inspiration or example to others?
Linda recognizes that youth are enthusiastic, energetic, and optimistic – and when they are empowered, they can do amazing things. She aims to instill knowledge, curiosity, and ultimately stewardship of coastal and ocean ecosystems in young students.
Contest participants are often learning about the ocean for the first time: “I could no longer ignore what was going on in my community. This new knowledge changed how I see the way that I live, work, and interact with the environment.”
Students reflect on how participating in the Contest shapes their attitudes about their own power to affect change: “As I began writing, I realized that maybe my writing can be used for something besides ‘just winning a contest.’ I can use my abilities and interests to make an impact, regardless of my age. The ‘I’m just one person so I can’t make a difference’ mindset is really dangerous and unfortunately prevalent, so I hope to show others through this piece that people can make a difference by themselves.”
What is the nominee’s history of commitment and accomplishment?
As an endorsement of Linda’s work, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently awarded Bow Seat a grant to launch the Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition, which challenges students to carry out a campaign that educates the public about marine debris and stimulates behavior change and action.
Linda is a Board Member of Women Working for Oceans and a trustee of the New England Aquarium. She is a lead donor of the Aquarium’s new Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, a scientific endeavor focusing on fisheries conservation and aquaculture solutions, marine mammal research and conservation, habitat and ecosystem health, and marine animal health.
Demonstrating her commitment to environmental education, Linda was a primary financial contributor of the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Anderson-Cabot Hall for Graduate Studies, which allows the best and brightest local Bahamian and international graduate students to pursue careers in the marine sciences. She also sponsored the Linda N. Cabot Science Symposium at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, which focused on important new research on the changing nature of the world’s oceans and the questions that arise from that change.
In 2017, Linda received the Gulf of Maine Council’s Visionary Award, which recognizes innovation, creativity, and commitment to marine protection by those who are making a difference to the health of the Gulf of Maine.
Jolyn Landrie is my nomination for the Blue Ambassador of the Year. She has a 20 year background in Volunteer work, starting her own not for profit initiatives – Waterway Clean-Up Project, cleaning trash from the beaches and parks in FL, and just lives her life by leaving the world better than she found it, every single day. You can see the work that she does by viewing her Instagram page at @jolynlandrie. Every day, she saves an animal from peril, caused by human beings. She has 10 years of Veterinary technician experience and her true calling is helping animals. She tries to educate the staff of the different resorts in Ft. Lauderdale about the importance of not leaving chairs on the beach, picking up what you bring to the beach, and how detrimental these activities can be to the plight of the sea turtles. This usually falls on deaf ears, but she keeps trying EVERY DAY.
She has pulled fishing hooks out of turtles mouths, helped them get out of fishing nets, and helped clear the paths to make it easier for baby turtles to reach the ocean many times. Broward county employees have thanked her for her assistance in Markham Park. She has also started an initiative with local restaurants to ban plastic straws and single use plastic of any kind. She is one of a kind and the world is a better place because she is in it.
I am nominating Carl Stearns for the Blue Ambassador of the Year Award for his long standing support of marine conservation in Palm Beach County Florida. For over four (4) years Carl has served as the Blue Friends Society Beach Clean Up Captain at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) and he has significantly contributed to the protection of sea turtles, their sensitive habitat, and the beautification of our community.
In addition to logging 1,805 hours as a LMC Rehabilitation Volunteer, Carl has graciously served as the Blue Friends Society Beach Clean Up Captain. In his role as Beach Clean Up Captain Carl coordinates and trains our volunteers, greets our guests, announces the cleanup logistics, compiles the cleanup data, collaborates with clean up stakeholders (i.e. Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful, Friends of Jupiter Beach) and serves as the primary point of contact for this program.
Under Carl’s over four-year-watch it is estimated that nearly 10,000 lbs of marine debris was removed through the beach cleanup programs he managed.
Further Carl helped LMC welcome nearly 7,000+ guests to the Blue Friends Monthly Beach Clean Ups, educating many people on the importance of cleaning up our environment, advocating for sea turtles, and recycling debris found on our beaches.
Marine debris is one of the most significant and growing concerns in the field of conservation and given the 9.5-mile stretch of beach LMC monitors is one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches on the planet, marine debris conservation efforts are absolutely critical in helping to protect and preserve sea turtles and marine life.
Carl is an amazing volunteer and community ambassador who has impacted numerous guests, families, beach goers, and local businesses on the importance of marine conservation, he is so worthy of this award.