Ocean Awards Gala 2020


9 Jun, 2020


The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
Contact Us


About the Ocean Awards Gala

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation invites you to celebrate champions of marine and Great Lakes stewardship at the 17th annual Ocean Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the Capitol Hill Ocean Week Conference. Guests enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail reception, post-program dessert reception, a menu featuring sustainable seafood, an exciting silent auction, and opportunities to mix and mingle with ocean thought-leaders and enthusiasts. This year, we celebrate honorees for lifetime achievement, conservation innovation, and outstanding volunteer service.

Past honorees include President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, Members of Congress, leading scientists, philanthropists, explorers, and dedicated community volunteers.

Schedule of Events

  • 6:00 pm Cocktail Reception sponsored by The Henry Foundation
  • 7:00 pm Dinner & Program
  • 9:00 pm Dessert & Reception sponsored by The Ocean Foundation

Join us as we celebrate this year’s Honorees:

Dr. Nancy Knowlton

Sant Chair of Marine Science, National Museum of Natural History

Lifetime Achievement

  • About
  • For over four decades, Dr. Nancy Knowlton has immersed herself in ocean science, education, conservation and communication.  Her achievements include pathbreaking research on coral reefs, for which she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the establishment of innovative graduate education programs that bridged the gap between the natural and social sciences. She has brought the ocean world to wide audiences through her best-selling book Citizens of the Sea and as former editor-in-chief of the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal, which reaches over two million people each year. She has led the shift in the conservation conversation from doom and gloom to optimism and solutions, initially through her Beyond the Obituaries symposia, then the #OceanOptimism social media campaign, and most recently as the co-host of the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit. After graduating from Harvard, Nancy spent a year working with Dr. Ruth Turner, the first woman to go in the deep-sea submersible Alvin. Thanks to Ruth’s encouragement, Nancy is the proud holder of a 1972 NAUI dive certification card. Early in graduate school, she took a field course in Jamaica, where she became hooked on coral reefs and met her now husband Jeremy Jackson, who received the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.  Over the course of her career, she has held positions at Yale, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Smithsonian, initially working for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution in Panama (where she was taken hostage with her daughter during the 1989 invasion). In 2007, she became the first Sant Chair of Marine Science at the National Museum of Natural History. Her research has taken her throughout the tropics, studying reefs from the Central Pacific to Brazil, but she now lives on the coast of Maine. You can follow her on Twitter via @SeaCitizens.

Walton Family Foundation

Conservation Innovation

  • About
  • The Conservation Innovation Award recognizes a company or organization for its significant contributions to marine conservation and the protection of natural and cultural resources through innovative partnerships. The Walton Family Foundation’s Environmental Program focuses on sustaining the places that sustain us. Their programs focus on working locally with farmers, fishermen, ranchers, businesses and conservationists for national and global impact. The Walton Family Foundation is fighting to end overfishing, improve ocean health and preserve coastal livelihoods by creating incentives for sound management of fisheries that can transform our seafood markets.Learn more at

Francesca Koe

Volunteer, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Sanctuary Wavemaker 

  • About
  • Francesca Koe has been a dedicated advocate for the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) for over 11 years. A champion for ocean conservation, Francesca was also instrumental in designing & implementing marine protected areas (MPAs) along the California coast as a primary stakeholder in the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. Additionally, Francesca played a critical role in the passage of AB-376 (which bans the possession & sale of shark fins in CA) by spurring the creation of a diverse coalition campaign to amplify voices from otherwise underrepresented cultures. A multi-agency SCUBA instructor (PADI MSDT #186082/ DAN #11837) and competitive freediver (PFI Safety Supervisor #1102 + AIDA judge), Francesca serves as the Program Chair on the board of directors for the Greater Farallones Association, as a member of the GFNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council, as Editor-at-Large for, and as the CMO of Gannet Dive Company. When she is not in the water, the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at NRDC, works to advance clean energy & equity through a series of climate related campaigns.You can read a blog about her efforts on the GFNMS #kelprecoveryproject here and find other ocean-related blogs here.
    You can listen to a Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy podcast featuring Francesca here and view her LinkedIn profile here.

HONORARY EVENT CO-CHAIRS: Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau


Event Committee:

Julian Myers-Benton, Event Committee Chair

Mark McDade

Dawn Rodney  

Patrick Collins

Mike Dry

Jacqueline and H. Alex Henry

Lisa Henschel

Margo Jackson

Susanna Kondracki

Tony Lynn

Eva Manolis

Monica Medina

Martin Peters

Audra Parker

Catharine Cyr Ransom

Carla Seebald

Carey Tarbell

Becky Voslow

  • Honorary Congressional Committee

    • Committee Co-Chairs

      U.S. Senate

      Committee on Appropriations

      The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Vice Chairman

      Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

      The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen, Ranking Member

      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

      The Honorable Roger Wicker, Chairman

      The Honorable Maria Cantwell, Ranking Member

      Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather

      The Honorable Tammy Baldwin, Ranking Member

      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

      The Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Chairman

      The Honorable Joe Manchin III, Ranking Member

      Senate Oceans Caucus

      The Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Co-chair

      The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, Co-chair

      U.S. House of Representatives

      Committee on Appropriations

      The Honorable Nita Lowey, Chairwoman

      The Honorable Kay Granger, Ranking Member

      Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

      The Honorable José E. Serrano, Chairman

      Committee on Natural Resources

      The Honorable Raúl Grijalva, Chairman

      Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife

      The Honorable Jared Huffman, Chairman

      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

      The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chairwoman

      Subcommittee on Environment

      The Honorable Lizzie Fletcher, Chairwoman

      House Oceans Caucus

      The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici, Co-chair

      The Honorable Don Young, Co-chair

      Committee Members

      U.S. Senate

      The Honorable Richard Blumenthal

      The Honorable Mike Braun

      The Honorable Sherrod Brown

      The Honorable Richard Burr

      The Honorable Benjamin Cardin

      The Honorable Thomas Carper

      The Honorable Robert Casey

      The Honorable Susan Collins

      The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

      The Honorable Margaret Wood Hassan

      The Honorable Cindy Hyde-Smith

      The Honorable Angus King

      The Honorable Ed Markey

      The Honorable Robert Menendez

      The Honorable Jeff Merkley

      The Honorable Chris Murphy

      The Honorable Patty Murray

      The Honorable Gary Peters

      The Honorable Rob Portman

      The Honorable Jack Reed

      The Honorable Marco Rubio

      The Honorable Brian Schatz

      The Honorable Charles Schumer

      The Honorable Tom Udall

      The Honorable Chris Van Hollen

      The Honorable Mark Warner

      The Honorable Ron Wyden

      U.S. House of Representatives

      The Honorable Alma Adams

      The Honorable Mark Amodei

      The Honorable Nanette Barragan

      The Honorable Karen Bass

      The Honorable Joyce Beatty

      The Honorable Jack Bergman

      The Honorable Don Beyer

      The Honorable Earl Blumenauer

      The Honorable Lisa Blunt Rochester

      The Honorable Brendan F. Boyle

      The Honorable Anthony Brown

      The Honorable Julia Brownley

      The Honorable Bradley Byrne

      The Honorable Salud Carbajal

      The Honorable Tony Cárdenas

      The Honorable Andre Carson

      The Honorable Buddy Carter

      The Honorable John R. Carter

      The Honorable Matt Cartwright

      The Honorable Ed Case

      The Honorable Sean Casten

      The Honorable Judy Chu

      The Honorable David Cicilline

      The Honorable Gilbert Ray Jr. Cisneros

      The Honorable Katherine Clark

      The Honorable Yvette Clarke

      The Honorable William Lacy Clay

      The Honorable James Clyburn

      The Honorable Tom Cole

      The Honorable Gerald E. Connolly

      The Honorable J. Luis Correa

      The Honorable Joe Courtney

      The Honorable Charlie Crist

      The Honorable Elijah Cummings

      The Honorable John Curtis

      The Honorable Peter DeFazio

      The Honorable Diana DeGette

      The Honorable Ted Deutch

      The Honorable Debbie Dingell

      The Honorable Lloyd Doggett

      The Honorable Michael F. Doyle

      The Honorable Sean P. Duffy

      The Honorable Anna Eshoo

      The Honorable Adriano Espaillat

      The Honorable Brian K. Fitzpatrick

      The Honorable Lois Frankel

      The Honorable Marcia Fudge

      The Honorable John Garamendi

      The Honorable Jimmy Gomez

      The Honorable Anthony Gonzalez

      The Honorable Vicente Gonzalez

      The Honorable Jennifer González-Colón

      The Honorable Debra Haaland

      The Honorable Vicky Hartzler

      The Honorable Alcee Hastings

      The Honorable Katie Hill

      The Honorable Jim Himes

      The Honorable Steny Hoyer

      The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee

      The Honorable Pramila Jayapal

      The Honorable John Joyce

      The Honorable Marcy Kaptur

      The Honorable William Keating

      The Honorable Robin Kelly

      The Honorable Joe Kennedy III

      The Honorable Ro Khanna

      The Honorable Derek Kilmer

      The Honorable Andy Kim

      The Honorable Ron Kind

      The Honorable Raja Krishnamoorthi

      The Honorable Ann Kuster

      The Honorable Jim Langevin

      The Honorable Barbara Lee

      The Honorable Mike Levin

      The Honorable Ted Lieu

      The Honorable Zoe Lofgren

      The Honorable Alan Lowenthal

      The Honorable Stephen Lynch

      The Honorable Carolyn Maloney

      The Honorable Brian Mast

      The Honorable Doris Matsui

      The Honorable Ben McAdams

      The Honorable Betty McCollum

      The Honorable A. Donald McEachin

      The Honorable Jerry McNerney

      The Honorable Mark Meadows

      The Honorable Seth Moulton

      The Honorable Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

      The Honorable Joe Neguse

      The Honorable Dan Newhouse

      The Honorable Don Norcross

      The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton

      The Honorable Steven Palazzo

      The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr.

      The Honorable Jimmy Panetta

      The Honorable Donald Payne, Jr.

      The Honorable Scott Peters

      The Honorable Chellie Pingree

      The Honorable Stacey Plaskett

      The Honorable Katie Porter

      The Honorable Bill Posey

      The Honorable Mike Quigley

      The Honorable Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen

      The Honorable Jamie Raskin

      The Honorable Kathleen Rice

      The Honorable Francis Rooney

      The Honorable Harley Rouda

      The Honorable C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

      The Honorable Bobby Rush

      The Honorable Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan

      The Honorable Linda Sánchez

      The Honorable Jan Schakowsky

      The Honorable Adam Schiff

      The Honorable Terri Sewell

      The Honorable Mikie Sherrill

      The Honorable John Shimkus

      The Honorable Albio Sires

      The Honorable Chris Smith

      The Honorable Abigail Spanberger

      The Honorable Jackie Speier

      The Honorable Thomas Suozzi

      The Honorable Eric Swalwell

      The Honorable Mark Takano

      The Honorable Mike Thompson

      The Honorable Dina Titus

      The Honorable Paul Tonko

      The Honorable David Trone

      The Honorable Fred Upton

      The Honorable Juan Vargas

      The Honorable Marc A. Veasey

      The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz

      The Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman

      The Honorable Randy K. Weber

      The Honorable Peter Welch

      The Honorable Jennifer Wexton

      The Honorable Robert J. Wittman

      The Honorable Lee Zeldin

  • Congratulations to this year’s local volunteers of the year!

Dino Dal Bon

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Dino Dal Bon is a member of the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps (CINC) volunteer program, a joint program between the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park that trains volunteers to educate the public about the sanctuary and park on board local whale watch tours, island hikes, community outreach events, and school science nights. Dino is dedicated to supporting citizen science and educating the public about the mission of the sanctuary and park. In addition to serving on whale watch tours, island hikes and at community outreach events the Corps also serve as community scientists. The CINC program is a national role model in engaging volunteers to collect valuable marine mammal sightings and photo-ID data on endangered whales. The data collected by CINC volunteers has contributed to the sanctuary’s efforts to reduce ship strikes of endangered whales and supports long-term population studies. Dino has played an instrumental role in this effort from maintaining whale photo-ID equipment for his fellow CINC volunteers, to supporting the testing and development of the Spotter app and creating instructional materials. Dino manages to find time to attend community events including Coastal Clean-Up Day, school science nights and events as far away as the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.


Jason Thompson

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Jason Thompson has shared his remarkable artistic gifts with the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary for nearly a decade. As a hard working volunteer Jason is know for putting his considerable photography talents to work to document wildlife and research cruises in the sanctuary. Jason regularly takes vacation time from his job to volunteer on research cruises in any kind of weather and has been extraordinarily generous in donating all of his photographs to the sanctuary for unlimited use. He is incredibly diligent about documenting our work, organizing, and immediately sharing his images. Jason’s photographs have increased the capacity for the site to conduct outreach and education about this sanctuary that is largely inaccessible to the public. These photographs are used throughout CBNMS media such as webpages, social media, presentations, brochures, and are featured in large format in our traveling photo exhibit. His remarkable images of wildlife have enhanced our research by allowing us to identify and document species and occurrences in detail. Over nearly a decade, Jason has participated in dozens of cruises, volunteered hundreds of hours and donated thousands of photographs. Jason’s dedication and generosity have enhanced the visibility and value of the site to the public and benefits the sanctuary system as a whole.  


Stephen Patten

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

When Stephen Patten moved to the Florida Keys, he didn’t hesitate to dive head first into volunteering with Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Since then, he has become involved in nearly every volunteer program offered, including Team OCEAN, beach shoreline cleanups, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, and the Sanctuary Advisory Council. His contributions to Team OCEAN’s on-the-water outreach program have been outstanding. Stephen’s friendly, approachable demeanor, communication skills, and eagerness to learn all the aspects of boating responsibly in the Florida Keys make him an asset to interacting with the public from sanctuary vessels. This same tenacity has cemented Stephen as a fixture at the sanctuary’s visitor center, where he skillfully interprets the resources of the sanctuary and assists with daily operations. More recently, Stephen has assume a role as citizen-at-large on the Sanctuary Advisory Council, and very quickly established himself as a dedicated member of the council. Stephen always comes prepared to discuss the topics of the day, and is passionate about carrying these messages back to his constituents.

Stephen is a fantastic example of a community leader, he attends nearly every marine debris shoreline cleanup organized by the sanctuary, and maintains his commitment to the Eco-Discovery Center and Team OCEAN.




Jake Emmert

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Jake Emmert is a stellar volunteer who took the time to participate in multiple multi-day offshore research trips to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Such work is necessary to maintain equipment, take readings, download monitors, install new recorders and replace mooring buoys. This helps staff remain aware of what is going on in the sanctuary 115 miles from shore. Jake also contributed to sanctuary education efforts. He organized and moderated a special focus on corals at Moody Gardens Aquarium, which included a showing of ‘Chasing Coral’ and a discussion that followed. Combined with the sanctuary exhibit, many interested members of the public were reached at a deeper level than if they had simply stopped at a booth for a few minutes. Jake also volunteered his skills as a divemaster for efforts such as the educator and the industry-government workshops. When attending national conferences, Jake’s ability to provide first-hand accounts of sanctuary expeditions during his presentations has allowed him to educate other divers and conservationists about the importance and availability of opportunities in sanctuaries. All of these contributions have allowed staff to complete work critical to achieving the sanctuary’s mission by providing extra man-power and increasing its reach with the public.






Katie Miller

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Katie Miller introduced herself to former Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary superintendent, Sarah Fangman, in 2015 and asked if she could be of service to the sanctuary. Katie was only 16 years old at the time, but with her mother’s approval, she began shadowing and assisting Gray’s Reef staff in a variety of volunteer functions. Katie is a stellar student with an inquisitive mind and generous spirit. She is inspired by the ecology of coastal Georgia and seeks opportunities to learn about and protect our ocean planet. Katie is passionate about science, exploration, underwater robotics. She even took on the Gray’s Reef St. Patrick’s Day float in full-length shark suit to the cheers of thousands of observers during Savannah’s massive parade. After graduating as Valedictorian last summer, she spent the last few hours of her break on a citizen science project for Gray’s Reef before heading off to Dartmouth College in pursuit of a degree in molecular biology. In her final project, she compiled years of oceanic, atmospheric, and astronomical data from the Gray’s Reef buoy and other sources into a single spreadsheet for comparative review and future analysis. Katie is the future for America’s national marine sanctuaries and personifies the ethos that sanctuaries champion.


Caryl Carr

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Caryl Carr first came to the sanctuary when she participated in the Beach Watch Class of 2016 and has been a dedicated volunteer with the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary ever since. Almost all Beach Watch volunteers survey one beach per month, but Caryl is assigned three beaches and she has proven she is up to the task. Besides surveying Pomponio Headlands, Sea Lion Cove, and Walk-On-Beach at The Sea Ranch, Caryl regularly jumps to cover surveys for fellow volunteers when they need a substitute. She is literally doing the work of 5 sanctuary volunteers as she averages 4-6 surveys per month. One month she completed eight full surveys! The Beach Watch program helps the sanctuary protect and understand coastal resources by 1) creating a long-term data set of the bird and mammal resources for each beach from Manchester Beach to Point Año Nuevo, 2) assisting the sanctuary in early detection of natural or human-caused disturbances, such as oil spills, and 3) developing a network of local stewards that document the biological and physical changes on sanctuary beaches through the seasons and over several years. With her remarkable commitment, remarkable energy and dedication, Caryl provides critical support to this essential program.


Amalia Mueller

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Amalia Mueller has been a volunteer for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary for the past 10 years. The sanctuary has no permanent staff member on the Big Island but she has continued to participate in outreach and education events in the Kona area. She runs a weekly outreach station at the Pu`ukoholā Heiau visitor center, with a variety of hands on activities, gives 45 ton talks and shows whale movies. She has been very innovative about creating materials for her outreach stations. Amalia has recruited a dynamic and dedicated team of volunteers that help in all manner of ways at the outreach stations. She is very active outside of the sanctuary, having participated in and assisted with a variety of outreach events in the community. With minimal supervision or compensation but with full support from the Sanctuary Amalia has excelled in increasing the awareness of humpback whales and the sanctuary. Amalia has stayed dedicated to providing education on sanctuary waters to the visitors and residents on the Big Island despite having some unique challenges and limited staff support. Her dedication is infectious and has grown the number of dedicated volunteers on the Big Island.






Debby Boyce

Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Debby Boyce has worked with Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) in various capacities since 2011, tirelessly connecting the recreational diving community to the mission of the MNMS, which honors USS Monitor and the many Battle of the Atlantic shipwrecks off the coast of North Carolina. Currently Debby serves as the Ocean Sports seat representative on the Sanctuary Advisory Council, and prior to that, she held three consecutive terms as one of two Recreational Diving seats representatives. Debby is a staunch advocate for sustainable diving practices and has been instrumental in helping advance potential MNMS boundary expansion. During the last year, Debby was busy enhancing the capabilities of her staff at Discovery Diving in Beaufort, NC, enrolling them in multiple Nautical Archaeology Society training opportunities, taught by MNMS and North Carolina state underwater archaeologists. By providing this training the staff, and interested members of the public, are better prepared and equipped to promote the numerous wreck sites from Battle of the Atlantic in a responsible and sustainable manner. Additionally, Debby has promoted bi-annual marine debris cleanups “Dive Against Debris” in her community. These initiatives help promote community engagement and engender ocean conservation, both of which are core to the mission of MNMS.








Marj Sewell

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

At 88 years young, Marj Sewell is our most senior, and enthusiastic, volunteer. Marj was in the first docent training class in 2006, and since that time has contributed over 1,700 hours to MBNMS’ Coastal Discovery Center. Marj has a unique connection with the land on which the Center resides. She grew up in San Simeon Village and attended a one-room school house for the children of employees of WR Hearst where her mother was a secretary and her father a gardener, which qualified her to develop our local history program and give tours of San Simeon Village. As a retired teacher, she has taught hundreds of students at the Center each year, and has mentored new docents. As an expert seamstress and craftsperson, Marj has led other volunteers in the creation of a life-sized mermaid for the annual scarecrow festival and has created a large ocean mural weave project for kids at outreach events. In addition to tabling at dozens of off-site outreach events, Marg served on the planning team for our annual Ocean Fair in 2018 for up to 800 people! Marj inspires people of all ages with her endless enthusiasm and love for the Central Coast and for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


Magdalene Augafa Leauanae

National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

Magdalene Augafa Leauanae is the dynamic and engaging Program Director for the Department of Education Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS). She is a member of NMSAS’ Sanctuary Advisory Council, the lead in the Ocean Literacy working group, and is a major partner in the Islandwide Science Technology Engineering Art Math (STEAM) Education Committee. Magdalene works closely with NMSAS’ education team to develop STEAM programs, and has been a valuable asset in engaging with teachers and students through the US Department of Education. Magdalene was a key individual in helping to start American Samoa’s first underwater robotics program last year through the sanctuary and with community involvement. Her contributions to ocean literacy and to achieving the sanctuary’s mission (“to inspire ocean and climate literacy and conservation through national marine sanctuaries”) is unmatched among volunteers. She brings the sanctuaries to the classroom, and the classroom to the sanctuary. Magdalene continually demonstrates a strong commitment to education and fosters a thriving relationship with NMSAS.

Her work last year with the underwater ROV program and Ocean Literacy working group shows her passion and inspires students and educators alike to become stewards of the environment through climate literacy.


Jim Jewell

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

During the fifteen years that Jim Jewell has volunteered with the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, he has interacted with thousands of visitors and other volunteers in several capacities. Jim was among the first volunteers to go through docent training. He began volunteering in the Olympic Coast Discovery Center when it opened for the first time in 2004. He has returned each summer since then to greet local classroom groups and visitors from all over the world. Visitors enjoy and appreciate the individual attention he provides to them and his wealth of knowledge of marine ecosystems and coastal cultures. His continued support of the Discovery Center is inspirational to other docents. This quality along with his willingness to share his experiences and information has helped us to retain a sizable cadre of enthusiastic visitor guides. As a docent Jim helps OCNMS reach out to promote awareness and stewardship of the natural and cultural resources protected by the sanctuary. He frequently mentors new docents to help them become more comfortable in sharing this important information with Discovery Center guests. As a trained naturalist, he makes an ideal guide for our annual docent training field trip to local tidepools by inspiring others to appreciate the wonders of intertidal life.








Tammy Harp

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Tammy Harp was born and raised in Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawai’i. Her family has resided in Lahaina for 9 generations and she has remained actively involved in watershed community issues for the island of Maui as well as the Kupuna (elder) Islands known as Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM), where she has volunteered for 18 years. Tammy has worked tirelessly to preserve and promote Native Hawaiian culture, she is a life-long shoreline gatherer, having learned from her ancestors and through her father’s stories about the past. She continues to share so others can learn and practice these same values. Tammy has helped the Reserve Advisory Council (RAC) members, partners, and community as a whole understand the Native Hawaiian perspective and history in order to mālama (care for) Papahānaumokuākea and ocean issues. Tammy’s is a part of the PMNM genealogy (story) and is priceless. In 2016, she extended her work by joining the Expand Papahānaumokuākea group. She participates in both RAC & community meetings and builds close relationships with many different stakeholders. Tammy is a person with integrity, determination, knowledge, kindness who is pono (upright/righteous) and works with aloha.




She is a true practitioner of Malama‘aina, caring about that which is directly under own feet.


Tim Factor

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Tim Factor is an exceptional volunteer and a great ambassador for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and our national sanctuary system. He is conscientious, dedicated and fun to work with and has brought professional credibility, technical excellence and great stories to our program. He is laser focused on doing the best job he can yet he doesn’t seek recognition. He has increased visibility and credibility for our entire sanctuary system, and his work showcases what can be achieved when sanctuaries invite the public to join us through our national volunteer program. Several bird experts recommended Tim Factor for the Stellwagen Sanctuary Seabird Stewards (S4) citizen science research and monitoring program due to his technical expertise, boundless energy, and years-long dedication to monitoring wildlife. To date, Tim has collected seabird data on 104 whale watch cruises and at least three cruises on our Research Vessel Auk, for a total of more than 436 observation hours and thousands of data points. In 2018 alone, he collected data and photographed on 19 trips with Boston Harbor Cruises. Tim’s photographs have been used to help identify species and promote the program. Tim once spotted an adult Atlantic Puffin, a rarity for us in the sanctuary.




Barry Schatz

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Barry Schatz has been a driving force both creatively and as a community connector, as a key volunteer recruiter for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Halloween “Trick-or-Treat at the Sanctuary” event. This event brings over 2,000 people to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center for one evening in late October to enjoy Halloween-themed exhibits, a haunted house, and plenty of games and candy for all to enjoy. Thunder Bay strives to provide free opportunities for the community to connect, engage, and learn from the incredible resources and exhibits in and around the Center. The Halloween event attracts a primarily local audience from all walks of life; many of these patrons aren’t regular visitors and for some it is their first visit. Barry’s creative planning in designing Halloween exhibits, costumes, and props have put smiles on thousands of faces since he began working on the project in 2015. Barry has also recruited volunteers from his own circle including many who have brought their own creativity, resources, and time to the event. Barry is a self-starter, fantastic communicator, creative mind and a volunteer recruiter for the Sanctuary. He is responsible for recruiting over a dozen volunteers who contribute similar hours and fierce dedication to the Halloween event.

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2019 Sponsors

Roger and Victoria Sant Trust in Honor of Dr. Nancy Knowlton | Drs. Nancy Knowlton and Jeremy Jackson |  Dane Nichols | John and Nancy Rudolf | Perkins Coie Foundation / Don Baur | Robert and Kathleen Trainor | B. Holt Thrasher | Friends of Kris Sarri

*Support from governmental organizations only supports the Capitol Hill Ocean Week Conference and does not support the Ocean Awards Gala

17th Annual Ocean Awards Gala Sponsors

Cocktail Reception

Dessert Reception

Table Sponsors

Roger and Victoria Sant Trust in Honor of Dr. Nancy Knowlton | Drs. Nancy Knowlton and Jeremy Jackson | Dane Nichols | John and Nancy Rudolf | Perkins Coie Foundation / Don Baur | Robert and Kathleen Trainor | B. Holt Thrasher | Friends of Kris Sarri

Sustainable Seafood Generously Provided by

Gala Signature Cocktail Crafted by

Sponsorship and Table Purchase Opportunities

For sponsorship information Click here!



Tickets and sponsorships are non-refundable. In the event of cancellation your purchase becomes a tax deductible gift. 

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