Since its founding in 1998, the International SeaKeepers Society has focused on the health of the world’s oceans and climate. While many non-profits do the same, it was the first to tap the power of the yachting community, specifically because yachts and superyachts travel far afield. This provides an incomparable ability to further marine research and support sensible marine protection. Additionally, every year SeaKeepers honors individuals who make great strides in advancing science and conservation. Last month the SeaKeepers honors went to Victor Vescovo, and the founders of Blue Latitudes Foundation.
Vescovo is the first person to reach the “Five Deeps,” setting a world record. These are the deepest points in each of the Earth’s five oceans. Two well-known companies in yachting, EYOS Expeditions and Triton Submarines, helped make the voyages possible. EYOS took part in the itinerary planning and ensuring safety while in Antarctica. Triton Submarines, meanwhile, provided a small sub for Vescovo, a pilot, and filmmakers to use when diving the extraordinary depths. Vescovo’s world record helped scientists confirm the existence of sea creatures they surmised existed, too.
Blue Latitudes Foundation, meanwhile, is a non-profit educating students, and empowering women to pursue STEM careers. Additionally, it initiates projects to better understand and protect the oceans. Amber Sparks, the co-president (above), was on hand for the SeaKeepers honors. She and her fellow president, Emily Hazelwood, each have backgrounds in marine biology and conservation. Each is a certified diver as well. They received SeaKeepers honors as the NextGen award recipients, in recognition of them being the next generation of conservationists.
More than 160 guests attended the awards ceremony, at The Deck at Yacht Haven Grande Island Gardens Marina. Among the notable attendees was Dr. Sylvia Earle (pictured at top with Vescovo). She herself is a previous SeaKeepers honoree, the SeaKeeper of the Year from 1998. Furthermore, she is a member of the SeaKeepers Scientific Advisory Council. Further joining Earle at the event was David E. Shaw, the co-chair of the Sargasso Sea Alliance.
The honorees received custom art pieces from Kelly Quinn, SeaKeepers’ Artist of the Year.
Blue Latitudes Foundation bluelatitudesfoundation.org
International SeaKeepers Society seakeepers.org