Monday, July 22, 2024's Francesca Koe Among National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Honorees’s Francesca Koe Among National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Honorees

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced its 2019 Ocean Awards Gala honorees. They are: Dr. Nancy Knowlton, the Walton Family Foundation and’s own Francesca Koe.

The NMSF will honor these ocean champions at the Ocean Awards Gala on June 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Event co-chairs Ashlan and Philippe Cousteau said:

“The Ocean Awards Gala is a valuable opportunity for the ocean conservation community to gather and celebrate individuals and organizations committed to making a difference. We are honored to serve as co-chairs for this year’s event and look forward to the wonderful evening.”

Kris Sarri, NMSF’s president and CEO, said:

“The ocean’s most pressing challenges — climate change, overfishing, habitat loss, pollution — grow underneath its surface unseen. This year’s honorees fuel hope for our ocean by seeking innovative solutions that change how we communicate about conservation, transform markets to promote sustainable seafood and engage communities in the stewardship of their national marine sanctuaries. We are honored to recognize Dr. Nancy Knowlton, the Walton Family Foundation, and Francesca Koe for protecting the health of our ocean and the livelihood of the communities that depend on it.”

Knowlton will receive the foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to coral research, science communication, and marine science education.

The Walton Family Foundation will receive NMSF’s Conservation Innovation Award for the organization’s contributions to marine conservation and the protection of natural and cultural resources through innovative partnerships.’s Francesca Koe will get the Sanctuary Wavemaker Award for her contribution in service to the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in Northern California.

For more info about what the honorees did to earn their awards, go to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation website.

Congratulations to all the honorees, especially our own Francesca Koe!

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.