Congratulations to this years Ocean Awards Gala Honorees!

Gordon and Betty Moore
Lifetime Achievement Award

Gordon and Betty have been contributing to science, technology, education and conservation projects for decades. In 2000, they established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. The foundation fosters scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gordon has been committed to technological progress throughout his career, co-founding Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and then Intel Corporation, creator of the world’s first microprocessor, in 1968. He became Intel’s president and chief executive officer in 1975 and held that post until elected chairman and chief executive officer in 1979, and chairman emeritus in 1997. A rule-of-thumb prediction made by Gordon in 1965, later dubbed “Moore’s Law,” became a guiding principle for the delivery of ever more powerful semiconductor chips at proportionally lower costs.

Born in Los Gatos, California, Betty attended Campbell Elementary School and Los Gatos High School, then went on to receive her B.A. in Journalism from San Jose College, where she first met Gordon. Betty worked for the U.S. Rubber Company in San Francisco until their marriage in 1950. Soon after they were married, the young couple moved to Pasadena, where Gordon earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Physics from the California Institute of Technology and Betty worked for Consolidated Engineering Corporation in advertising and public relations, then joined the Ford Foundation.

As a leader in the semiconductor industry, Gordon helped shape what we now recognize as Silicon Valley and the technology sector. Today, Betty’s personal commitment to improving the experience of patients and the couple’s desire to expand knowledge, conserve the natural world, and preserve all that makes the San Francisco Bay Area special inspires the ongoing work of their philanthropy. 

Will Benson
Volunteer of the Year

Captain Will Benson was born and raised in the Florida Keys, where he uses his platform as a well-known guide to further the public’s understanding of conservation and the desperate need for sanctuaries. Will has been a volunteer for three years, recently assuming the role of a voting member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council. Not only did he chair the Recreational – Charter Fishing Working Group and draft the framework for the Blue Star Fishing Guides program, but his work in the community includes countless hours advocating for the sanctuary at regional and state-wide events, writing letters of support for grants and projects and bringing together resource managers and their constituents. Will, father of two, believes in the value of protecting our natural resources and is always on the lookout for ways to instill that appreciation in the next generation.

While Will’s educational background in Louisiana was in philosophy, he took up filmmaking and photography as a way to share his passion for conservation with audiences around the world. He currently assists sanctuary staff with strategic communications as well as acting as a knowledgeable, charismatic, and devoted ambassador for the sanctuary in his community

Conservation Innovation

The Conservation Innovation Award recognizes a company for its significant contributions to marine conservation and the protection of natural and cultural resources by supporting of sound science, exploration and/or innovative partnerships. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation presents the 2018 Conservation Innovation Award to BBC for the groundbreaking documentary series, Blue Planet II.

Through science and new technology, Blue Planet II brings our ocean and the unique life it supports into the homes of millions across the world. Revolutionary technology allowed BBC to enter worlds and film behaviors never seen before. And, the series provides the compelling contemporary stories of how plastics contaminate our oceans and the profound impact climate change is having on it. By introducing viewers to amazing species and seascapes, and the challenges facing our ocean, BBC is inspiring new ocean guardians across our blue planet.