The Sea Hero Award program was created in 2011 to recognize individuals who go above and beyond to help protect the world’s oceans and help bring some attention to their work, and Oris Watches USA and Scuba Diving are pleased to announce that the program will continue in 2012.
Each Sea Hero was awarded an Oris dive watch and the Sea Hero of the Year received a $5,000 grant from Oris. The program incorporates an editorial feature in Scuba Diving that profiles each conservationist and the positive contribution he or she makes to the marine environment. Oris Watches USA and Scuba Diving are happy to announce that the program will be continued in 2012. Five Sea Heroes will again be named this year — the first in the magazine’s May issue — culminating in the presentation of the Sea Hero of the Year Award. The award will be made at DEMA, the dive industry’s largest event, in November.
Shawn Heinrichs was the overall winner from the five Sea Heroes chosen in 2011. In his fight against shark finning, Heinrichs works closely with government and nongovernment agencies to create Marine Protected Areas all over the world. He was instrumental in helping get a shark sanctuary created in remote Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Heinrichs donated the $5,000 Oris award toward the purchase of a ranger patrol boat for the Raja Ampat Shark Sanctuary, and Shark Savers, which partnered with Misool Eco Resort to create the sanctuary, will match Heinrichs’ donation with a $5,000 grant to be used in purchasing the boat. To see Heinrichs' video of whale sharks in Oslob, Philippines, as well as his story about this experience, click here.
The year’s other winners included:
• Larry McKenna for his work with leatherback turtles
• Carl Safina for his Living Oceans program
• Georgienne Bradley for her Save Sea Foundation
• “Ocean” Annie Crawley for her work in educating children about the oceans
To nominate a 2012 Sea Hero, click here.