On The Avenue

Aquanaut Sylvia Earle Accepts the Inaugural Avenue Altruism Award

by AVENUE insider Photographed by Jared Siskin/PMC
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Last night, in the blue-lit Delegates Dining Room in the United Nations Conference Building, AVENUE held its Life Under Water Gala and introduced the annual AVENUE Altruism Award, which was presented to the legendary Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue.

The oceanographer, activist and environmentalist was honored for her work to create a global coalition to inspire public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas. Mission Blue also creates everything from films to social media messages and sponsors regular oceanic expeditions that shed light on these vital ecosystems–the blue heart of Planet Earth–and build support for their protection. Currently, the Mission Blue alliance includes more than 200 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations, from large multinational companies to individual scientific teams doing important research. 

Held in association with the UN Office for Partnerships, the evening is dedicated to bringing awareness to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal SDG 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. The appropriate backdrop to the event was the UN’s stunning view across the East River to Long Island City.  

Chinese actress Sharon Kwok, the Hong Kong Ambassador for I’m FINished with FINS, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.  Fabien Cousteau, internationally renowned aquanaut, ocean conservationist, founder of The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center and the grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, presented Dr. Earle her award.  He was introduced by AVENUE editor-in-chief Michael Gross, who thanked Ophelia Branca Snyder for bringing her friend and mentor Dr. Earle to AVENUE’s attention, Manhattan Media chairman Richard Burns, AVENUE president Randi Schatz, the evening’s lead sponsor, sponsors Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, and additional sponsors Berkshire Hathaway New York Home Services and the Malta Tourism Authority.  

Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director of the UN Division for Ocean Affairs & the Law of the Sea, Shari Sant Plummer, president and founder of the Code Blue Foundation, and Joni Rein, Vice President of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, also addressed a crowd of 150 that included Anne Doubilet (an underwater explorer and photographer and member of the Benefit Committee who gave each guest one of her hand-crafted Blue Hope cuffs made of recycled aluminum and printed withher underwater photographs); Georgienne Bradley, founder of Sea Save Foundation; Anna Falth of UN Women, Will Kennedy of the UN Office for Partnerships, Madelaine Oliver of the UN Foundation and Bingzhuo Ki of the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; Cousteau’s wife Lisa Singer; Gretchen Mathews; Nazee Moinian; Barbara Cirkva and John Schumacher; Ellie Johnson and A. Laurence Kaiser of Berkshire Hathaway; Benefit Committee members Michele Gerber Klein, Jean Shafiroff and Susan Gutfreund; Angela Chen; Sylvester Miniter; Alison Spear and Alexander Reese; Roy Kean; Vanessa Noel; Roger and Bara de Cabrol; Dayssi Kanavos; Lucia Hwong Gordon; Wendy Diamond; Lauren Day Roberts; Cassandra Seidenfeld; Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin; Suzan and Arthur Kremer; Amy Rosi; R. Couri Hay; and the AVENUE sales and editorial teams.  

A portion of the night’s proceeds went to Mission Blue.  




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