The Beacon

Blog Tags: Ocean Hero Awards

From the Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro to the Coasts of Antarctica: Q+A with Ocean Hero Finalist Leah Meth

Leah Meth – New Haven, CT. 

Leah, a Masters student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, spearheaded the youth-driven Shark Stanley Campaign, which advocated for the passage of  shark and manta ray protections at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok.  The campaign, which was accompanied by an educational book titled The Adventures of Shark Stanley and Friends, began as a small group of students and grew to include an international network of over 50 organizations. Together they collected nearly 10,000 photo petitions from supporters in 135 countries. The petitions were presented to CITES delegates in March of 2013 and contributed to the passing of the protections for sharks and manta rays.


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Abandoned Lobsters, Immortal Nets, and John Denver: Q+A with Ocean Hero Finalist Kurt Lieber

Kurt Lieber – Huntington Beach, CA. 

A longtime ocean advocate and diver, Kurt founded the Ocean Defenders Alliance in 2002 to clean up abandoned and discarded fishing gear from California’s coastal waters. If not removed, this ghost gear can snare and kill sea birds, fish, and marine mammals and damage essential marine habitat.  To date, Kurt’s organization, comprised of a network of hundreds of volunteer divers, has removed 22,000 lbs of nets, 20,000 lbs or marine debris and over 200 traps from our seas.


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Satellite Tags, Pearl Jam, and Fighting Shark Fin Soup: Q+A with Ocean Hero Finalist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag – Miami, FL. 

Neil is the Director of the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, which gives high school students, especially those from underserved populations, the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through “full immersion” shark research. Over 2,000 students from 40 countries have participated in shark tagging and diving expeditions. Dr. Hammerschlag was recently instrumental in protecting sharks in Florida waters when he testified for new regulations that would prohibit the recreational and commercial harvest of tiger sharks and three types of hammerhead shark. The protections went into effect on January 1, 2012.


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Jimmy Buffett, and Triumph Over Tragedy: Q+A with Ocean Hero Finalist Jean Beasley

Jean Beasley – Topsail Island, NC.  

In 1997, Jean established The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in memory of her daughter, who led a local effort to protect turtles before losing a battle with Leukemia at age 29.  To date, Jean and her volunteers have rehabilitated and released over 300 turtles back into the wild, fought for (and won) stronger regulatory protections in North Carolina, and worked to educate the public about the threats that sea turtles face in the wild.


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Keegan Allen Is Fighting to Protect Our Oceans -- Are You?

As an actor, director, and star of "Pretty Little Liars," Keegan Allen wears many hats. And now he can add "ocean hero" to that ever-growing list of titles -- Keegan has joined us in the fight to protect the world's oceans. Do you know an exceptional individual who is working in new and unique ways to save our oceans? Nominate him or her (or even yourself!) for Oceana's 5th Annual Ocean Hero Awards! Nominations end Friday, so act now! www.oceana.org/oceanheroes


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Meet the Faces of the Ocean Hero Junior Awards!

Winners of the 2010 Ocean Hero Award, the Shark Finatics' most recent project involved plastic bottles filled with important ocean conservation messages. 

The Shark Finatics were the 2010 Ocean Hero Awards Junior Winners!

Since winning the Ocean Hero Award in 2010, the Shark Finatics have expanded their conservation work beyond their original shark adoption efforts.

This past fall, they participated in Asher Jay’s “creative diaspora,” when plastic bottles they decorated and filled with important ocean conservation messages were featured in the Washington, DC, exhibit of “Sea Speak Sphere.”


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Meet the Faces of the Ocean Hero Awards!

 

Sara Bayles was a 2010 Ocean Hero Awards Finalist.

In May 2009, Sara Bayles started her Daily Ocean Project, in which she pledged to do 365 (non-consecutive) 20-minute beach cleanups and blog about it the whole way through.  Two and a half years later, on December 8, 2012, she completed her last clean up, tallying 1,333.1 pounds of trash removed from her local beach in Santa Monica!

Although she’s completed her original goal, Sara is not turning her back on the littered beaches. 


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The 5th Annual Ocean Hero Awards Coming Soon!

WANTED: Ocean Heroes. Could it be you? 

Do you know an individual (maybe yourself?) with a devotion to protecting and preserving our world’s oceans? Do you know someone who is working to save the oceans in new and unique ways? If so, you can nominate them for Oceana’s 5th Annual Ocean Hero Awards between June 8th – June 28th! www.oceana.org/heroes


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Ocean Hero Finalists: Ayla Besemer

ayla besemer

Ayla Besemer (Age 8 in the photo) relocates a sea start that washed up on the beach. Image courtesy the Besemer family.

This is the seventh in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Last week I highlighted our adult Ocean Hero finalists, so this week it’s the juniors’ turn. First up is 13-year-old Ayla Besemer, who may just be the next Al Gore -- for the oceans. (Except she is way cuter.)

Inspired by the beauty of the creatures in the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” 13-year-old Ayla and her friend Simon created “Save Our Seas,” an interactive presentation kids everywhere can give that highlights ocean threats and 15 actions kids can take today.

To date, Ayla has given her “Save Our Seas” presentation to more than 1,500 people in seven states and the Bahamas.


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