West Long Branch, NJ  – Monmouth University’s  Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will host the 6th Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium and Champions of the Ocean Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 29.

The Symposium is free and open to the public.  Symposium registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.  The session will start promptly at 10 a.m. in Wilson Auditorium.  Tickets are required for the Awards Luncheon, which will be held Noon to 2 p.m. in the Versailles and Pompeii rooms on the first floor of Woodrow Wilson Hall. Tickets are $125. For online reservation, visit www.monmouth.edu/urban_coast_institute.


Carl Safina, Ocean Champion

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and the symposium's theme is "Marine Biodiversity." Keynote speaker Carl Safina, co-founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, has helped lead campaigns to ban high seas driftnets, re-write U.S. fisheries law, use international agreements toward restoring tunas, sharks, and other fishes, achieve a United Nations fisheries treaty, and reduce albatross and sea turtle drownings on commercial fishing lines.   As president of the Institute, Dr. Safina works mainly to help highlight and explain how the ocean is changing and what that means for wildlife and for people. He lectures extensively in the United States and is author of over one hundred publications. His books include Song for the Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue and coming this fall The View From Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World. A book signing with Dr. Safina will be held after the symposium.  Distinguished symposium panelist is Dr. Paul A. Sandifer, senior science advisor to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  He provides input regarding the overall NOAA science enterprise, the President’s Ocean Policy Task Force, NOAA’s coastal and marine spatial planning efforts, and development of science policy related to coastal management, aquaculture, oceans and human health, and other areas.

Dr. Safina will be presented with this year’s national Champion of the Ocean award. Dr. Safina’s conservation work has been profiled in the New York Times, on Nightline, and in the Bill Moyers television special “Earth on Edge.” He is a recipient of the Pew Scholar's Award in Conservation and the Environment, the Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction, the John Burroughs Medal for literature, the National Academies Communications Award, Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo’s Rabb Medal, and a MacArthur Prize. Safina is an adjunct professor at SUNY’s Stony Brook University.

The UCI will present the State Coastal and Ocean Leadership Award to Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr.  Senator Kyrillos began serving New Jersey's 13th Legislative District in 1988 when he was elected to the General Assembly. After spending two terms in the Assembly he was elected to the Senate where he has served since 1993.  He is the sponsor of the Environmental Infrastructure Trust, legislation promoting eco-tourism, a stable source of shore protection funding, as well as legislation closing CAFRA loopholes permitting inappropriate coastal development.

The UCI will present the Marine Educator of the Year Award to John Wnek, vice principal of Marine Academy of Technical and Environmental Sciences (MATES).  John Wnek is a dedicated and dynamic marine educator and presently the vice principal at MATES Academy in Manahawkin.  He works with student internship and research opportunities, is advisor to the MATES chapter of the National Honor Society and is also the research coordinator and founder of Project Terrapin, which has done much statewide to educate both students and public about the diamondback terrapin and the need to protect it.  He received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1987 and a master’s degree in education in 1994 from Monmouth University.

Volunteer of the Year Leadership Award will be presented to Steve Zeck.  Mr. Zeck served in the United States Marine Corps reaching the rank of Sergeant before being honorably discharged in July 1968. He worked for NJ Bell (Verizon) from 1968 until retirement in 2001 at the age of 54.  He has lived in the Tuckerton area for 39 years and enjoys the ocean, bay and working with young people. In June 2003 he began volunteering with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR). Most of his time volunteering has been spent in the field at Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS).

Event sponsors include Diamond Offshore Drilling, Najarian Associates, PSEG Services Corporation, Pringle Quinn Anzano, Meridian Health, New Jersey Natural Gas, American Association of Port Authorities, and Ansell, Grimm & Aaron.

For tickets to the Awards Luncheon, sponsorship opportunities, or additional information contact Lorraine Jordan at 732-263-5662 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..