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Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon

The Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon
October 25, 2019 - Kravis Center, West Palm Beach

The Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards recognized individuals and organizations who are leading the community in practicing ocean conservation and are on the leading edge of going "Blue!" Featuring special guest and keynote speaker, Robert Ballard. 

The Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon will be held on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the Kravis Center's, Cohen Pavilion in West Palm Beach.

Starting on July 15, LMC will be accepting nominations for the 2019 Go Blue Awards, which are given annually to four individuals and a business that are making extraordinary contributions by promoting ocean conservation. Nominations are made through August 25. Finalists will be announced at a Blue Friends Society social in September.

Special Guest: Robert Ballard

Ballard-on-bow.CR_Ocean Exploration Trust(edit)

Robert Ballard Best known for his 1985 discovery of the RMS Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109.

While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and “black smokers” in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.

In 2008, Dr. Ballard founded the Ocean Exploration Trust and acquired his present ship of exploration, EV Nautilus, which will begin a voyage around the world in 2013 with his Corps of Exploration. In addition, Dr. Ballard is a National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. He is also a Senior Scientist Emeritus in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

“I grew up wanting to be Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”​​​​​​​​​​ - Robert Ballard

Dr. Ballard was born June 30, 1942, in Wichita, KS but moved to California at a very young age and grew up exploring the shore in San Diego.  Dr. Ballard has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.  He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop telecommunications technology to create “tele-presence” for his JASON Project, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year.  In 2001, he returned to the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he is presently a tenured Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration and Archaeological Oceanography.

Dr. Ballard has 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He was also a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving in the Navy from 1967 to 1997. He received the National Geographic Society’s prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for “extraordinary
accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the world’s oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science.”

His discoveries also include sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea; two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel, the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water; and four 1,500-year-old wooden ships, one almost perfectly preserved in the Black Sea.  Dr. Ballard’s ongoing Black Sea project seeks evidence of a great flood that may have struck the region thousands of years ago.

Dr. Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers, and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. He has also been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking “Secrets of the Titanic” and a more recent 5-part mini-series, “Alien Deep with Bob Ballard.” His 1997 best-selling book, Lost Liners, tells the story of the great transatlantic liners through memorable wrecks he has visited. Dr. Ballard was also a special advisor on Steven Spielberg’s futuristic Sea Quest, DSV television show.

An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard’s fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea.

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.

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 Adkison – U.S. Shark Foundation, Director; Fabien Cousteau – Aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker; 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; Joel Sartore – Photographer, speaker, author, teacher, and a 20-year contributor to National Geographic magazine; and Jim Toomey – Mission Blue Executive Director, Creator of Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip.

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, Bluevoice.org; 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.