The Beacon

Blog Tags: Ocean Heroes Award

Nominate an Ocean Hero Today!

The 2010 Junior Ocean Heroes, the Shark Finatics, with teacher Robin Culler.

It’s that time again: we are looking for ocean heroes, and we need your help. Nominations for our third annual Ocean Heroes Contest begin today, so think of the person you know doing the most for the oceans -- and maybe it’s yourself! -- and send us the deets.

Here’s how: To nominate someone, just visit www.oceana.org/heroes and complete the form. Past nominees have included educators, scientists, fundraisers, activists, and that’s just a start. And like last year, we have two categories: Adult and Junior (18 years old or younger).

This year’s Ocean Heroes will receive, in addition to a heap of praise and good ocean karma, a $500 gift card from Nautica and a pair of Revo Sunglasses. All finalists will receive a $100 Nautica gift card.

Nominations end April 27th, but the faster you can get them in the better. So nominate, nominate, nominate, and please, spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and however else you know how!

We can’t wait to see all the great nominations come rolling in!


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Jay Holcomb Says Thank You

Oceana's 2010 Adult Ocean Heroes Award winner, Jay Holcomb, wasn't able to attend our awards party in LA a few weeks ago - he was too busy rescuing birds affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Last week, he gave the acceptance speech he didn't get a chance to give earlier in front of a large pen full of a couple dozen pelicans whose lives he saved. The birds will be released on the eastern shore of Florida.


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A Visit With Jay Holcomb And Some Oily Birds

brown pelicans yearning to be free

Brown pelicans awaiting release after being cleaned. Photo courtesy Suzannah's iphone.

In a cavernous warehouse in Louisiana’s bayou country, hundreds of oiled birds are getting a chance at survival after the BP oil disaster threatened their lives. Most of them are brown pelicans, Louisana’s state bird, along with some gulls, herons, gannets and terns. Until a couple of weeks ago, there weren’t many birds in this makeshift facility backed up against the Mississippi. But with the oil slick’s expansion closer to shore, the number of birds affected exploded – and the rescue center is racing to keep up.

The center is run by Jay Holcomb, and is primarily staffed by his International Bird Rescue Research Center team. Today, I visited Jay along with Oceana’s pollution campaign director Jackie Savitz, and got a firsthand look at the critical work that Jay and his team are doing.

We were also on hand to congratulate Jay on winning Oceana’s 2010 Ocean Heroes Award. He was unable to attend the award ceremony in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago because he was too busy doing the work of an ocean hero – saving birds in the Gulf.

Here’s a video of Jackie talking to Jay about his work and what happens to the birds after they're released. You can hear the helicopters going out to the spill site overhead.


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Q&A with Shark Finatics' Teacher, Robin Culler

The Shark Finatics

Junior Ocean Hero winners the Shark Finatics with teacher Robin Culler.

The 2010 Junior Ocean Hero Winners are the Shark Finatics, a group of students at Green Chimneys School in Brewster, New York who have raised more than $2,000 for shark research and conservation organizations around the world - and an immeasurable amount of awareness about shark finning.

We spoke to the Finatics' teacher, Robin Culler, who was overjoyed to hear that her students had been named Ocean Heroes.

How does it feel to win this award?

Words can't even begin to describe how it feels winning this award! The Finatics have many friends and fans, around the world, who have been such a great support since the very beginning. The kids can't even begin to comprehend the magnitude of all of this. I'm not sure I can either!   

It seems we are living in a time when the oceans really need a hero.

Because of the situation in the Gulf, oceans and our environment are making major daily news. To be winning recognition for all of our work in shark conservation at this time is extremely poignant.

It is unfortunate that it often takes a catastrophe, such as the oil spill, for people to sit up and pay attention to the state of our oceans. I doubt the average person even knows that over 70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from our oceans. Unhealthy oceans will trickle down to unhealthy us.


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The 2010 Ocean Heroes Are ...

Happy World Oceans Day!

I hope you are out frolicking near the shore, but if, like most of us, you are stuck indoors, check out this list of things you can do to show your love for the oceans.

And now, for the exciting part. Thousands of you voted over the past month, and I’m tickled to announce the winners of this year’s Ocean Heroes contest. Drum roll, please:


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Last Day to Vote for Ocean Heroes!

It’s the last day to vote for your favorite finalist to receive this year’s Ocean Hero award!

All of this year’s adult and junior finalists are stellar -- if you checked out any of the profiles I wrote on the blog this month I’m sure you agree. From young shark and sea turtle activists to a sustainable seafood power couple and an ocean trash blogger, all of our finalists deserve plaudits.

We’ll announce the winners on the fast-approaching World Oceans Day, June 8.

This year’s winners (one adult and one junior) will each receive a $200 gift card and Raiatea binoculars from West Marine, a $500 gift card from Nautica, and a trip to the World Oceans Day with Nautica and GQ party in Los Angeles on June 8.


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