For their outstanding commitment to the environment and saving the world's oceans, international ocean conservation group Oceana last night presented its 2004 Partners Awards to Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; Rick Nicita, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA); and Dian Ogilvie, senior vice president and chief environmental officer at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A..
Oceana Partners Awards are presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to preserving and restoring the marine environment, and whose stewardship has helped to ensure the vitality of the oceans for future generations.
"Protecting the marine environment is one of the few actions we can take today that will benefit our grandchildren," said actor and environmental activist Ted Danson, who is on Oceana's Board of Directors and who hosted the gala. "I am tremendously proud of this year's honorees for their commitment to improving the world environment and for serving as examples to us all."
"Julie Packard, Rick Nicita and Dian Ogilvie have consistently fought for what's right," said Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless. "These ocean heroes are not content to cheer from the sidelines. They are stars on the field, and their dedication to the environment is to be applauded."
Nicole Kidman presented a Partners Award to Nicita. Leon Panetta, former California congressman and chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, presented Packard with the 2004 Ted Danson Ocean Hero Award, and rising film star Jake Gyllenhaal presented Ogilvie with the evening's final Partners Award.
The gala, which took place at the exclusive Esquire House in Beverly Hills, was the second since a 2002 merger between Oceana and American Oceans Campaign, founded in 1987 by Danson.
Tom Cruise, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenburg, Brittany and Richard Lovett, Kelly Chapman and Ron Meyer, Cindy and Alan Horn, and Paula Wagner were among the co-chairs of the 2004 Partners Award Gala. The evening's menu -- sustainable seafood from six of the world's seas -- was prepared by Jeffrey Mora of Metropolitan Culinary Services. Mora, personal chef to the Los Angeles Lakers, is well known for incorporating his devotion to the environment into his cooking.
Photos from the event can be downloaded here. More details about the gala are available here.