About the Gala

Join the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in celebrating the 2021 Ocean Awards Gala! This year, the Foundation will stream the gala into the comfort of your home. Join us as we honor the dedicated individuals who campaigned to protect the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and establish Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Attend, watch and engage with the gala this year through virtual tastings and online game shows, or attend a home party hosted by one of our ambassadors.

Want to host a viewing party? Watch Party Hosts provide the venue, refreshments and an opportunity for their invited guests to watch the gala program. Party Guests make a tax-deductible gift through the Foundation’s gala website. The night of the Gala, participate with other small socially distanced groups across the country by hosting your own celebration – cocktail party, seated dinner, or anything else! – and join us for the online program. There is no minimum number of guests or amount to raise. To become a Watch Party Host, email Carol King at carol@marinesanctuary.org.

Online programming for the Ocean Awards Gala is free and open to the public, with registration. Donations to this fundraiser are encouraged.


To sign up for these exciting new events, please follow the links below to register!


Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2021 Sponsors

The Ocean Awards Gala would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Proceeds from this event will help fund programs and projects that benefit our global community. Together, we will save more whales, restore more coral reefs, create more ocean and Great Lakes champions, and protect more of our most important resource.

For information on 2021 sponsorship levels, click below or contact carol@marinesanctuary.org.

Virtual Experiences

This year, stream the Ocean Awards Gala live while you experience unforgettable tastings and interactive fun with our generous sponsors.

Join a Tito’s Vodka expert for an after-party drink as we toast to our ocean champions! Tito’s Vodka wants to make the world a better place and has empowered their team to support the causes that matter to them. They proudly support non-profit efforts through their program Love, Titos.

Hollywood’s best game shows arrive directly to your living room- only this time, you become CONTESTANTS! Join us following the Ocean Awards Gala to play “Jeopardy,” “The Match Game,” and “Family Feud.” Play with new or old friends in team-based game shows for a thrilling competitive experience. This time, all games will have an Ocean & Great Lakes twist!

Join the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for a virtual tasting fundraiser in the comfort of your own home. This event will highlight the work of the Foundation and create an unforgettable tasting experience with a surprise wine host!

Your registration for this event includes a tasting kit which will be available for pick-up or mailing.

Our Honorees

The Ocean Awards Gala annually recognizes champions of marine and Great Lakes stewardship. Previous honorees include Presidents, Members of Congress, and world-renown scientists and conservationists.

The voices of Papahānaumokuākea

The extensive coral reefs of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument are home to over 7,000 marine species, some found nowhere else in the world.

Papahānaumokuākea was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010, the first mixed-use world heritage site in the United States, and one of only 28 in the world at the time. The mixed-use inscription acknowledges both the unique natural and cultural features of the marine national monument, and the interconnectedness of those resources.

Unique this year, our honorees will represent a community of stewards who had the vision to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and establish Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Host Committee

Lisa Henschel, Chair
Susanna Kondracki, Trustee Event Chair
Julian Myers-Benton, Foundation Vice-Chair
Dawn Rodney, Foundation Trustee
Barbara Birdsey, Foundation Trustee
Dane A. Nichols, Foundation Trustee
Andy Winer, Foundation Trustee
Martin Peters
Scott Richard Berg
Ximena Caminos
Catharine Cyr Ransom
Jennifer Currie
Christine Dziak
Patty Elkus
Jacquie Henry
Eva Manolis
Audra Parker
Margaret Peloso
Kolo Rathburn
Carey Tarbell

Potomac, MD
Great Falls, VA
McLean, VA
Ashburn, VA
Hobe Sound, FL
Washington, DC
Washington, DC
Atlanta, GA
Green Cove Springs, FL
Miami Beach, FL
Washington, DC
Washington, DC
Great Falls, VA
Sonoma, CA
Washington, DC
Kailua-Kona, HI
Hyannis, MA
Washington, DC
Washington, DC
Washington, DC