Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ocean Awards Gala Honorees Announced


The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation this week announced the names of the people who will be honored at the Ocean Awards Gala on June 4th in Washington, DC.

The gala is taking place as part of Capitol Hill Ocean Week, and the foundation also announced the conference agenda and plenary topics that will take place June 5th and 6th.

The Ocean Awards Gala will honor Chair Violet Sage Walker of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, with special recognition for the late Chief Fred Collins; White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory; and National Geographic Pristine Seas.

The theme of CHOW 2024 is “Leadership,” at all levels and from all walks of life, coming together to drive attention and innovation to protect the ocean and center people at the core of ocean solutions.

According to National Marine Sanctuary Foundation President and CEO Joel Johnson:

“The world needs leaders to come together for our waters, essential to all life on Earth, to thrive. Our ocean, coasts and Great Lakes are deeply threatened and need us to step up now with big ideas, innovation, and solutions to address the global crisis of our time. At CHOW 2024, we are excited to welcome people on Capitol Hill and from around the nation to these discussions, highlighting outstanding leadership and challenges on issues such as climate readiness, youth activism, the blue economy, renewable energy, and more. It is an honor to recognize the outstanding contributions of Chairwoman Violet Sage Walker and Chief Fred Collins, Chair Brenda Mallory, and National Geographic Pristine Seas as champions of conservation, advocacy and policy change on behalf of our ocean and all people whose livelihoods and heritage depend on it. Each are inspiring leaders in our ocean community much deserving of these awards.”

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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.