This is the fourth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Heroes finalists.
Today’s finalists are helping the oceans through one of my favorite things -- food. Chef Ted Walter and his wife, Cindy Walter, co-own Passionfish restaurant in Pacific Grove, CA, and the name is fitting -- they share a passion for sustainable seafood.
The Walters, who have strict policies for their seafood purchases, use their restaurant as a forum for discussion, education, and exploration of topics in sustainability.
At Passionfish, which was declared Monterey County's first "green" restaurant, Chef Ted Walter incorporates local, sustainable seafood and fresh, local, organic produce. Ted trained as a classic French chef in restaurants across the country before returning to his native Monterey County to open Passionfish in 1997.
Today is a big day -- we’re launching an exciting initiative leading up to World Oceans Day on June 8. And it’s all about everyday ocean heroes.
First, starting today you can be an ocean hero by pledging to help protect the oceans. For every pledge made, we’ll receive $1 toward our campaign work -- up to $100,000!
In case you need more encouragement, here are some of our celebrity supporters in a brand new PSA:
And secondly, today is the official start of voting for our Ocean Heroes Contest. After you pledge, you'll have the chance to vote on this year's Ocean Hero. We received more than 300 nominations, and we’ve narrowed it down to six adults and five juniors, all with incredible stories.
Thanks to everyone who shared their stories -- they were a lot of fun to read, and it was hard to choose. I'll be highlighting the finalists in the coming weeks here on the blog.
And once you have pledged and voted, you can encourage others to do the same. By placing our pledge widget on your blog or website, you can help us reach the $100,000 mark. And if there’s an ocean hero finalist you really want to win, you can help them garner more votes with our campaign badges.
So pledge, vote and start spreading the word!
After receiving nearly 500 nominations and thousands of votes for its final group of nominees, out of eight finalists, this year’s Ocean Hero is John Halas, a marine biologist and manager of the Upper Region of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Halas has been working to protect coral systems in Florida since 1981. After observing coral damage caused by careless anchoring, he took it upon himself to develop an environmentally friendly anchor and mooring buoy system that prevents damage to coral reefs and has worked to implement this anchorage system in 38 countries.
“My work is something I have felt strongly about and it is really a great honor to receive this acknowledgement,” Halas said.