Oceanographer Sylvia Earle and EECI’s Barbara Stanton Honored at AltaSea’s Third Annual Blue Hour
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles presented awards to Sylvia Earle, the famed oceanographer who was the first person to walk the ocean floor solo, and Barbara Stanton’s Entrepreneur Educational Center, Inc. (EECI), a Watts-based nonprofit that focuses on providing at-risk youth with access to good, sustainable jobs. AltaSea President & CEO Terry Tamminen and Founding Executive Director Jenny Krusoe presented the awards at AltaSea’s third annual Blue Hour, an event that connects science, culture, and community by combining art and technology to tell the story of the emerging blue economy.
Often called “Her Deepness” for the record number of hours she spent exploring underwater, Sylvia Earle’s career has pioneered research on marine ecosystems through her exploration and the development of technologies for accessing the deep sea and other remote environments. Earle is a former chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first female to hold that position. Earle’s accomplishments include being named Time Magazine’s inaugural “Hero for the Planet,” a Library of Congress Living Legend, and a National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee.
“Sylvia’s impressive career has inspired many and paved the way for generations to explore the ocean,” said Tamminen. “We’re honored to have been able to celebrate her lifetime of dedication to the ocean at the Blue Hour.”
EECI, a nonprofit based in Watts, received the NextGen Award for their work in building a workforce development pipeline. Since 1984, EECI has led an effort to assist, educate, train, and mentor multicultural entrepreneurs and at-risk youth. Earlier this year, AltaSea and EECI launched a collaboration that will open the doors to new career pathways for residents in Los Angeles County’s 2nd and 4th Districts, including a free series of business seminars called “Ride the Wave: Building Blue and Green Communities … One Small Business at a Time.” Barbara Stanton, Executive Director of EECI, accepted the award on EECI’s behalf.
“We are so proud at AltaSea to partner with EECI, because we want the emerging Blue Economy to be champions of inclusion. Our partnership will establish employment opportunities in the many industries of the Blue Economy,” said Krusoe. “Barbara and her team are an integral part of the future of not only AltaSea, but of Los Angeles.”
Pacific6, a company that invests in important initiatives that can positively impact communities, received the Innovation Award for their work to promote and advance sustainable marine aquaculture in North America. During the event, Pacific6 Founding Partner John Molina announced that the first-ever commercial aquaculture vessel will launch from AltaSea’s wharf later this year.
Also receiving awards were Sandy Bradley and Kathy Walsh, who both won the Cornerstone Award for their instrumental roles in AltaSea’s growth since its founding.
Blue Hour 3: The Warehouse was AltaSea’s third visual experience fundraiser, with various art installations created by established and emerging local artists. Curated by AltaSea Board Member Cynthia Hirschhorn and artist Annie Sperling, the art exhibits reflected on humankind’s relationship with the ocean and its critical role in combating climate change. A large-scale immersive installation by artist Taiji Terasaki in collaboration with the environmental organization, Parley for the Oceans, debuted during Blue Hour and will be available for viewing until December at AltaSea, launching Terasaki’s 6-month residency at AltaSea.
The curated art also featured prominent guest artist David LaChapelle, along with a dozen local artists and organizations, including AltaSea community partner Angels Gate Cultural Center and Otis College of Art and Design. The local artists include Taylor Griffith, Sylvia Earle’s grandson. Artists Emma Akmakdjian, Maru Garcia, Ryan Graeff, Blue McRight, Mason Rothschild, Debra Scacco, Jesse Small, and Annie Sperling rounded out the exhibits.AltaSea – a unique public-private ocean institute that convenes and nurtures the best and brightest pioneers and organizations in science, business, and education – hosted the first-ever Blue Hour in 2020, a drive-in experience that included a first-of-its-kind art installation projected onto the USS Iowa, a retired battleship-turned-museum moored on the San Pedro waterfront. Their 2021 fundraiser, Blue Hour 2: Ocean of Inclusion, was held at the Korean Friendship Bell in Angel’s Gate Park.