Blue Frontier’s Peter Benchley Awards

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On Friday June 25th ocean author and champion David Helvarg convened the 3rd Blue Frontier Peter Benchley Awards at the California Academy of Sciences. Emceed by Phillipe Cousteau, the awards recognized top Oil Disaster Responders including Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Cynthia Sarthou and Philippe Cousteau.

Also celebrated were some of the world’s top Ocean Explorers and Marine Conservationists including life long explorer Don Walsh (USN Ret.), the only person alive who has been to the deepest part of the Ocean (50 years ago this year aboard the Bathysphere Trieste), Louie Psihoyos, Director of the 2010 Academy Award winning documentary, ‘The Cove’, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation whose work on ‘Marine Spatial Planning’ has been promoted by President Obama, Jesse Ausubel, program director for the Census of Marine Life, a decade-long global scientific collaboration, concluding this year and Kyle Thiermann, a 20-year-old surfer and activist based in Santa Cruz, California. This year's Manta Award donated by Wyland are designed to celebrate the legacy of ‘Jaws’ Author, writer, filmmaker and marine conservationist Peter Benchley.

Following the huge impact and hysteria generated by the film JAWS, Peter Benchley devoted the rest of his life to shark conservation.

Blue Frontier Campaign’s mission to “promote unity, provide tools to and raise awareness of the solution-oriented seaweed (marine grassroots) community,” and the gathering of ocean champions at the evening's events were a veritable who's-who of ocean activists, scientists, policy makers and advocates.[

The first Blue Frontier Awards were given at the 2004 Blue Vision Conference in Washington D.C. where Peter Benchley gave the Keynote speech. After he passed away, his wife Wendy Benchley agreed to let Blue Frontier title the next awards in his honor. Wendy has been a grass roots environmental activist for many years and she and Peter worked together for most of their 43 years of marriage on ocean conservation issues.

The 2010 Blue Frontier Campaign / Peter Benchley Awards Recipients

Science – Jesse Ausubel – Program Director, Decade long Census of Marine Life completing in 2010

Policy – Dr. Jane Lubchenco – Administrator, NOAA

Media – Louie Psihoyos – Director, The Cove (2010 Academy Award Winner)

Hero of the Seas – Cynthia Sarthou – Gulf Restoration Network

Foundation Spirit Award – Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Explorer – Don Walsh – Lifelong explorer and one of only two people ever to go to bottom of the ocean aboard the Trieste in 1960 (50th anniversary)

Youth – Kyle Thiermann – Surfer, Activist – ClaimYourChange.org

Support the Blue Frontier Campaign at http://www.bluefront.org/