2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Award Winners include H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry
U.S. Senators Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii will be award presenters
Washington, D.C. – H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry will be honored at the 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 14 at the Carnegie Institution for Science at 1530 P St., NW in Washington, D.C. The world’s preeminent ocean honors are named after the late author of “Jaws” and lifelong marine conservationist Peter Benchley.
Prince Albert II will attend the ceremonies. Due to official business, Secretary Kerry is unable to attend. A VIP reception begins at 5:00 pm followed by the awards ceremony at 6:00 pm and the dinner at 7:30 pm.
The awards program was co-founded by Wendy Benchley, an ocean conservation and policy advocate, and David Helvarg, author and executive director of Blue Frontier. Often referred to as the “Academy Awards” for the ocean, the Benchley Awards recognize excellence across a range of expertise, including national leadership, policy, science, media, youth and grassroots activism.
During the 8th annual awards ceremonies, Prince Albert II will be presented with the Award for Excellence in National Stewardship.
Prince Albert II is a fourth generation ocean champion, who frequently takes part in marine scientific expeditions to observe the ocean’s most pressing challenges. He is the only Head of State ever to travel to both poles. In 2006 he established the Prince Albert II Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting the ocean and the environment, as well as addressing key threats such as climate change and ocean acidification.
“Prince Albert has played a vital role in supporting scientific research expeditions and high level collaborations around the important issues of overfishing and climate change,” said Mrs. Benchley. “He has advocated for protection of the high seas and promoted healthy ocean policies in many forums that influence decision-making on a global scale.”
Prince Albert II also will participate in a leadership forum “The Ocean in 2050,” at the National Geographic headquarters (1145 17th St., NW) on May 14. Other panelists include: Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Vice Admiral Charles D. Michel, U.S. Coast Guard, and Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. The forum from 1:30 pm - 3 pm is free and open to the public.
Secretary Kerry will be honored with the award for Excellence in Policy. Accepting on his behalf will be U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts and Benchley award winner for policy in 2013.
“As someone who respected and admired Peter Benchley’s passion for ocean conservation, I am both honored to receive and pleased to accept this award….Peter Benchley’s ocean conservation legacy is an inspiration and reminder that the ocean needs every one of us to champion its cause,” said Secretary Kerry in his acceptance letter.
This year’s award winners include:
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