Runaway Spoon

A Whale of an Event with Real Royalty

May 17, 2015

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco took a day or two away from his royal twins to travel to Washington to personally receive a Peter Benchley Ocean Award at a ceremony that drew 300+ invited guests on Thursday night.

Sen. Ed Markey presenting Secretary of State John Kerry's award to undersecretary Catherine Novelli (Photo by: Jeffrey Dubinsky for the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards) Sen. Ed Markey presenting Secretary of State John Kerry's award to undersecretary Catherine Novelli

For his leadership to save the seas, Prince Albert was honored with the “Excellence in National Stewardship of the Ocean.”  The award was presented by Dr.  Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and founder of The Pristine Seas project.

The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, now in its 8th year, was founded by Wendy Benchley and David Helvarg, author and executive director of the Blue Frontier.

The world’s preeminent ocean honors are named after the late author of “Jaws” and lifelong marine conservationist Peter Benchley.

This time Jaws lives on with a touch of royalty.

Prince Albert had an especially busy week but was relaxed and affable during a full day of speaking activities discussing environmental subjects, first at the National Geographic, then in the evening going over to the Carnegie Institution for Science for the Benchley awards. The Prince  lingered at the VIP reception, which was packed with ocean advocates from Hawaii, British Columbia, Australia, California, North and South Carolina to Massachusetts, and the list goes on.

Monaco's Prince Albert II flanked by Dr. Sylvia Earle & Dr. Enric Sala (Photo by: Jeffrey Dubinsky for the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards) Monaco's Prince Albert II flanked by Dr. Sylvia Earle & Dr. Enric Sala

“The world needs your passion and your energy,” Prince Albert told the National Geographic audience.   Too often, he said, “we don’t put a street light at a crossing until there’s been an accident.  We don’t want to get to that point for the oceans.”

On Sunday, May 10, Prince Albert and his wife, Princess Charlene, baptized their 5-month-old twins in services in Monaco.

Still another top award recipient was Secretary of State John F. Kerry, honored for
Excellence in Policy.  Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts presented the award.  Kerry was in the air over one ocean or another at the time of the ceremony, Markey noted.  So, his award was accepted on his behalf by Catherine A. Novelli, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and The Environment.

Dr. Enric Sala had a succinct way of how to save the oceans:

“Eat more vegetables!”

 


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Peter Benchley Ocean Awards For Monaco's Prince Albert II & Sec. of State Kerry

May 7, 2015

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry will receive top honors at the 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards ceremony on Thursday May 14 at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC. The world’s preeminent ocean honors are named after the late author of “Jaws” and lifelong marine conservationist Peter Benchley.

The Awards program was co-founded by, Wendy Benchley, an ocean conservation and policy advocate, and David Helvarg, author and executive of Blue Frontier. Often referred to as the “Academy Awards" for the ocean, the Awards recognize excellence and achievement across a range of categories, including policy, science, media, youth and grassroots activism.

Wendy Benchley (Photo by: Jeff Dubinsky) Wendy Benchley

During the 8th annual awards ceremonies, HSH Prince Albert II will be presented with the Award for Excellence in National Stewardship.

In 2006, Prince Albert II established the Prince Albert II Foundation dedicated to protecting the environment.  In 2009, the Prince participated in a scientific journey to Antarctica to follow several polar expeditions.

“Prince Albert has played a vital role in supporting scientific research expeditions and high level collaborations around the important issues of overfishing and climate change,” said Mrs. Benchley. “He has advocated for protection of the high seas and promoted healthy ocean policies in many forums that influence decision-making on a global scale.”

Prince Albert II also will  participate in a leadership forum at the National Geographic headquarters on how the world’s oceans and waterways will look in 2050. Other distinguished panelists include: Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence; Admiral Peter Neffenger, Coast Guard Vice-Commandant, and Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. The forum from 1:30 pm to 3 pm, is free and open to the public.

Secretary Kerry’s award will be for Excellence in Policy.  Due to official business, Kerry will not personally be in attendance but sent a formal letter of acceptance.

“Our ocean is in trouble. We have to summon global cooperation so that we can take the steps necessary to protect our ocean for generations to come,” Kerry has stated.

Secretary of State John Kerry (Photo by: State Department) Secretary of State John Kerry

David Helvarg said: “As Secretary of State, John Kerry has taken extraordinary steps to advance the global effort to end illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and to encourage the President and other world leaders to expand marine protected areas.”

The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards annual celebration is held biennially in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

Award winners include:

·        Dr. Daniel Pauly for Excellence in Science; considered a science rock star, he is the founder of ‘Sea Around Us” project at the University of British Columbia.

·        The Economist for Excellence in Media. In recent years, The Economist has dedicated a significant amount of its news coverage to the growing and varied challenges facing the world's oceans. 

·        Nainoa Thompson for Excellence in Exploration; president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

·        Madison “Pip” Stewart, Christopher Benchley Youth Award; an activist since the age of 8, she has spent more than a decade protecting sharks in waters near her Australian home.  She is the subject of an award-winning Smithsonian documentary, “Shark Girl.”

·        Todd Miller, for “Hero of the Seas,” is founder of the North Carolina  Coastal Federation, which works to enhance the environment and economy of the state’s coastline.

·        Dana Beach, for “Hero of the Seas,” is founder of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League which works to protect the state’s beaches, marshes, pine savannahs and marine wildlife.

David Helvarg (Photo by: Bluefront.org) David Helvarg

Winners are nominated by the ocean conservation community and chosen by the Benchley Awards Selection Committee, whose members include: Wendy Benchley; David Helvarg; Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue Founder and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence; Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Marine Ecologist, former NOAA Administrator; Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence; Dr. Greg Stone, Chief Ocean Scientist for Conservation International; and Jim Toomey, Syndicated Cartoonist and creator of ‘Sherman’s Lagoon.’

All media must apply for credentials.  Request media credentials at jstaihar@comcast.net. Please state your name, affiliation and contact information.   Phone:  202-797-7373; mobile 202-494-2490.

Additional information on the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards is available here.

Schedule of Peter Benchley Ocean Awards Events - May 14,  2015

1:30- 3:00pm: Ocean Leadership Forum

A leadership forum and panel discussion: “The Ocean in 2050” at National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium,   featuring Prince Albert II, Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger. This free event is open to the public.  1145 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20036

A Blue Whale that will be erected near the US Capitol for the Blue Vision Summit (Photo by: The Blue Vision Summit) A Blue Whale that will be erected near the US Capitol for the Blue Vision Summit

5 pm - 6 pm: VIP Reception

VIP Reception at The Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P Street, NW, Washington DC. 20005. Media credentials required.

6 pm - 7:30 pm: 8th Annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards Ceremony

The Awards ceremony will be held in the auditorium of the Carnegie Institution for Science. Media must apply for credentials.  

7:30- 10 pm: Peter Benchley Ocean Awards Dinner

The dinner celebration in the Carnegie Institution for Science, in the ballroom.  This is a ticketed dinner.  Media credentials required.

Blue Vision Summit- May 11-14 in Washington, DC

The Blue Vision Summit will be held in the days leading up to the Benchley Ocean awards. To draw attention to the Summit, there will be a big 90-foot inflatable blue whale (pictured here) set up near the U.S. Capitol.  The Summit is an established forum that has helped increase outreach to grassroots marine conservation groups, coastal communities, recreational ocean users, maritime workers, coastal tribes, public health advocates, marine science centers, elected officials and other potential constituents and allies. Contact: David Helvarg, 202-491-6296  helvarg@bluefront.org


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All The People Who Gave

April 16, 2015

Gen. Colin Powell, Mrs. Powell & Larry Gatlin (Photo by: Tony Brown for MBK Photo) Gen. Colin Powell, Mrs. Powell & Larry Gatlin

One of the most social things to do in DC is going to galas -- but one just held at the Howard Theatre raised a spectacular amount: nearly $1 million for education. It was the first gala held by America’s Promise Alliance started by retired Gen. Colin L. Powell and Mrs. Alma J. Powell.

The 300 or so guests hummed along as country star Larry Gatlin sang Misty, All The Gold in California, and other songs. Then he happily stuck around to mingle and get his picture taken with dozens upon dozens of fans bearing mobile phones.

One prominent social circuit editor attending the Wednesday night dinner was wowed. He remarked “how rare it is” for a new fundraiser to attract so much money the first time around the block.

NBC4 TV anchor Barbara Harrison (Photo by: Tony Brown for MBK Photo) NBC4 TV anchor Barbara Harrison

Mrs. Powell is board chair for the America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership of organizations, communities and individuals committed to improving the lives of young people.

The Promise Night Awards gala, emceed by NBC4 TV anchor Barbara Harrison, recognized the contributions of five individuals spanning various backgrounds and sectors who have made an exceptional difference in the lives of America’s young people. Each was presented with the “Promise of America” Award, the highest honor conferred by America’s Promise.

Mrs. Powell, said: “The success of our country depends on the success of our youth.  Our honorees are paving the way for many of our young people to thrive in school and in life.  Tonight, we recognize their efforts, the progress we’ve made as a country, and the work that remains, so that every child has the opportunity and support to reach their full potential and purse their American Dream.”

 

Beatrice and Anthony Welters with The Powells (Photo by: Tony Brown for MBK Photo) Beatrice and Anthony Welters with The Powells

Honorees were:

· Randall Stephenson, AT&T president & CEO

· The Honorable Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator (TN)

· Wes Moore, author and founder of BridgeEdU

· Beatrice Welters, co-founder of AnBryce Foundation

· Anthony Welters, co-founder of AnBryce Foundation

Larry Gatlin & honoree Sen. Lamar Alexandar (Photo by: Tony Brown for MBK Photo) Larry Gatlin & honoree Sen. Lamar Alexandar

“At America’s Promise, we believe in the American Dream, in making the promise of America for every child,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise.”We believe in an America where every young person has the chance to succeed, and every adult shares the responsibility to make it happen….”

Emcee Barbara Harrison hosts Wednesday’s Child, a weekly news program supporting foster care adoptions. Joining Gatlin on stage  then playing afterwards for those who wanted to dance was the terrific local band N’Demand.

The Powells with Wilma and Stuart Bernstein (Photo by: Tony Brown for MBK Photo) The Powells with Wilma and Stuart Bernstein

Major sponsors of Promise Night include State Farm, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Salesforce, AT&T Inc., The Boeing Company, EY, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, The Walton Family Foundation and Beatrice & Anthony Welters.

Attendees included: Janet Langhart Cohen, Frederic V. Malek and Mrs. Malek, Ann Hand and The Hon. Lloyd Hand, Elizabeth and Richard Dubin, The Hon. Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn, Roy Coffee, former Sen. Chuck Robb and Lynda Bird Robb, Michael Powell,  Kenneth and Jackie Duberstein, Craig Pascal and Victor Shargai, Calvin and Jane Cafritz, and The Hon. Stuart Bernstein and Mrs. Bernstein.

To learn more the organization, visit America's Promise.


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