Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Awards
In 1993, in celebration of the first anniversary of the Monterey Bay National Marine
Sanctuary, a series of awards were presented to people and organizations
who contributed significantly to the development of the Monterey Bay National
Marine Sanctuary through education, conservation, research, business,
political, and public involvement. In subsequent years, awards have been presented to
people and organizations that have greatly contributed to the implementation
of programs geared towards meeting the goals of the Monterey Bay National
Ruth Vreeland Public Official: Assemblymember John Laird
Assemblymember John Laird represents the 27th State Assembly District, which includes portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties. In the 1990s, Mr. Laird served as Mayor and Councilmember for the City of Santa Cruz and was President of AMBAG in 1990. In the Assembly, Mr. Laird was appointed Chair of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, Budget Committee, and is a member of the Natural Resources Committee.
He has authored bills on topics including the Coastal Commission's program to ensure public beach access, increased protection of the California Sea Otter, and the state's flood control levee system. Mr. Laird has authored thirty bills signed by the Governor including the legislation creating the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Mr. Laird is currently carrying a number of bills related to climate change and ocean policy.
Citizen: Dr. Ed Thornton
Dr. Ed Thornton of the Naval Postgraduate School has over 35 years of experience studying sand transport and near shore current patterns along the California Coast. Dr. Thornton has been a leader in monitoring the movement of sand, rip currents and the ongoing rapid erosion of beaches on the central coast. Dr. Thornton readily shares his scientific knowledge in the arena of public policy. For the past 4 years he has worked with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and other agencies to find ways of preserving local beaches without coastal armoring by providing extensive monitoring data and testifying on the topic at numerous public hearings. Dr. Thornton also posses the rare ability to explain scientific facts in a laypersons language.
Conservation: Karen Garrison
Karen Garrison is Co-Director of NRDC's Ocean Initiative and a senior policy analyst in the San Francisco office. Ms. Garrison was instrumental in the development and passage of Californiaís landmark Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). She serves on the MLPA Statewide Interests Group and participates in the design of alternative protected area networks within the Monterey Bay Sanctuary. Ms. Garrison also works to promote rockfish recovery and integrate ecosystem concerns into federal fishery management on the West Coast. She helped secure a federal groundfish observer program and conservation areas that reduce bycatch and protect habitat. Ms. Garrison co-authored Hook, Line and Sinking, a report on the status of federal fisheries, and other NRDC reports. She has served on state fishery advisory boards and currently sits on advisory boards for the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System.
Education: Maris Sidenstecker
Maris Sidenstecker an environmental education entrepreneur, founded the non-profit "Save the Whales" at age 14. A past sanctuary office employee and now an educational contractor, she was instrumental in crafting the "Dirty Words" radio ads. Ms. Sidenstecker has contributed to the creation of many educational materials and has educated thousands of students about marine mammals and urban runoff. She is currently working with students in Salinas to do weekly water monitoring on two creeks. She continues to manage the "Save the Whales" non-profit and since 2004 she has been the regional outreach educator on urban runoff for the County of Monterey and the Monterey Peninsula Cities. She also works for the Cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville on urban runoff education and outreach programs.
Science/Research: Dr. Rick Starr
Dr. Starr has been involved in many marine activities, including education for students, conducting research on exploited fish populations, and providing advice to governmental agencies, environmental organizations, and resource users. Dr. Starr is well recognized as an authority on the population structure, habitat uses, and status of near-shore and deep-water bony fishes along the west coast of the United States. Dr. Starr has been involved with the Marine Life Management Act and the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). Since 2004, he has served as a member of the Science Advisory Team for the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on MPAs for the MLPA. Dr. Starr has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications.
Ms. Cindy Walter has been a vocal advocate for sustainable seafood education. Along with her husband, Chef Ted Walter, they run the award-winning restaurant Passionfish in Pacific Grove. Passionfish has earned recognition for environmentally friendly business practices and environmental advocacy. Ms. Walter works to educate her staff, customers, peers and the public at large about the importance of protecting our oceans and sustainable seafood choices. Along with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Ms. Walter has orchestrated educational forums for other restaurateurs and chefs. Ms. Walter is on the Board of the Monterey Chapter of the California Restaurant Association, a member of the Womenís Chefs and Restaurateurs and the Seafood Choice Alliance. Since 2005, she has served as an alternate member-at-large on the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Advisory Council.
Organization: Friends of Hearst Castle
Friends of Hearst Castle is a nonprofit association affiliated with Hearst San Simeon Historical Monument® and the San Luis Obispo Coast District of California State Parks. Friends of Hearst Castle supports the California State Parks' efforts to improve visitor services and provides funds for educational, interpretive, and artifact conservation programs. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's relationship with California State Parks and the Friends of Hearst Castle has provided valuable support for the Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay.
Special Recognition: William J. Douros
William J. Douros was Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 1998 - 2006, and has been instrumental in developing a nationally renowned sanctuary program for Californiaís Central Coast. Mr. Douros' major accomplishments include building strong programs for resource protection, research and monitoring, education and outreach, and program operations. He established the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) and opened three satellite offices to serve Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and San Simeon. He launched a highly successful multi-cultural education program and directed the development of a new management plan to address more than 25 important resource issues, including the protection of the Davidson Seamount. Mr. Douros recently was selected to serve as the first Regional Director of all five west coast sanctuaries.
Special Recognition: Stephanie Harlan
Stephanie Harlan has a long and effective history as a staunch environmentalist. A member of the Capitola City Council for twenty years (six as the Mayor) she was Capitolaís representative on the AMBAG Board of Directors for eight years. She represented AMBAG on the Sanctuary Advisory Council and was the Council's Chair for four years. She is a long-time supporter and member of Congressman Farrís Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Trail Task Force.
Past MBNMS Award Winners