FORT LAUDERDALE – On Saturday evening, over 300 guests were inspired to SeaBlue at Oceana’s inaugural South Florida event at the award-winning W Fort Lauderdale. The international ocean conservation organization welcomed several special guests, including Adrian Grenier and The Honey Brothers, ocean legacy Alexandra Cousteau, world champion freediver Martin Stepanek and world renowned artist Wyland.
The event, co-chaired by local philanthropic leaders Senta Monet Mackel and Louise Storelli Fogarty, began with stunning aerial acrobatic performances by Circusoul Productions. VIP guests enjoyed a special reception hosted by Oceana ambassador Adrian Grenier and were educated about the threats facing sharks in Florida's waters and around the world.
“Sharks are badass, but they’re powerless against human hands so we have to protect them” said Adrian Grenier. “A lot of the practices are pretty brutal. They’ll take a shark, cut off their fins and then throw them back into the ocean to slowly die and we’re better than that. As humans, we need to be better than that.”
Following the VIP reception, guests mingled with some of South Florida’s elite surrounding a special musical performance by The Honey Brothers with Adrian Grenier. Guests also enjoyed an inspiring program featuring Oceana’s executive vice president Jim Simon and Alexandra Cousteau as well as a live auction that included exclusive items such as trip for two to the Galapagos with Discovery Channel and natural cultured pearls from Daoud’s Fine Jewelry.
“SeaBlue is an opportunity for people in Southern Florida to become involved in protecting the ocean, which is so important not only for Florida but for everyone in the world,” said Jim Simon, Oceana executive vice president. “We will save the oceans in our lifetimes, or we won’t. We know what to do, and if we have the will, we can stop taking too much life out of the oceans and putting too much pollution into them.”
As guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and dancing in an underwater world created by Chris Cruz at Emagination, the message of the evening was clear and well received, we need the oceans and the oceans need us. Floridians in attendance stood strongly together behind the conservation theme for the evening – the need to protect sharks. Specifically, Oceana encouraged guests to sign a petition designed by Sherman’s Lagoon cartoonist Jim Toomey to Florida Governor Rick Scott calling for a state ban on the trade of shark fins. West Coast states have already implemented such bans and numerous East Coast states have recently introduced similar legislation.
“When most of us think about the oceans, we think about their amazing natural backdrop, the seafood they provide and even the recreational activities they offer. What we sometimes fail to see is what’s really happening under the surface,” commented SeaBlue co-chair Senta Monet Mackel. Fellow co-chair Louise Storelli Fogarty remarked “Florida’s economy and communities depend on the oceans so we have a vested interest in helping to protect them.”
“We are thrilled to have welcomed Oceana’s SeaBlue to W Fort Lauderdale,” said Scott Brooks, General Manger of W Fort Lauderdale. “Since we are an oceanfront hotel and pride ourselves on our green initiatives, it was a pleasure to partner with an organization that shares the same fervor for preserving our oceans and nurturing a sustainable environment as we do. Not to mention, the addition of The Honey Brothers performing aligned perfectly with our passion for what’s new and next in music. This was one Happening that will be remembered forever.”
SeaBlue was made possible by the generous support of its executive committee, sponsors and underwriters, including W Fort Lauderdale, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, LiveESP.com, Wells Fargo, Bacardi U.S.A. and Emagination. Other generous SeaBlue supporters include: BankUnited, Fast-Dry Courts and 10-S Tennis Supply, Michael Krieger and Dr. Richard Krieger, LSN Partners, Konrad Brown and Northwestern Mutual, NSU Oceanographic Center, Plantation Ford, Greg and Kim Sandefur and United Spirits, Circusoul Productions, JohnKissee.com, Bashful Daisy Florist, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry, Stevan Fane, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Native Visions Galleries, Ritter’s Communications, Rodale, Sand Dollar Distributors, Steven Shires Photography, Source Salon, Vanoff Family and William Hill Estate Winery.
For more event photos, please contact [email protected]
For more information about Oceana’s SeaBlue event, please visit www.seablueevent.org
Photo credit: Adrian Grenier. ©Ralph Notaro/Nine Digit Media.
Additional images: http://tinyurl.com/7wob7uj
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 500,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.