Oceana Belize Opens Nominations for 2022 Ocean Hero Award

by Carolee Chanona

Since 2009, Oceana Belize honors and expresses gratitude by sharing the stories of men and women who are committed to safeguarding Belize through their ‘Ocean Hero Award‘. Now, Oceana has reopened nominations for their 2022 Oceana Ocean Hero Award! This award recognizes and celebrates individuals who go above and beyond to ensure the protection of our oceans.⁣

“It is really important, especially [in] the kind of uncertain times we are living in right now, to recognize the work that people are doing and that there are people among us who are examples for young people to follow.  So, for us, it is very important to recognize this individual commitment; people aren’t getting paid to do this. These people are doing this because of their love and commitment to country. That is awesome and something that should be recognized.”

Alyssa Carnegie, Director of Communications for OCEANA Belize 

2022 Ocean Hero Nominations: Now Open!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oceana Belize (@oceana_bze)

The award is open to all ocean-loving individuals, with passions that might include:⁣

  • Teaching & Education
  • On-the-ground Conservation, Restoration, and Rehabilitation work
  • Project Work
  • Private or Individual Research

While Ocean Hero nominations are open to all ages, all persons nominating someone must be 13 years of age or older. Want to nominate someone? Submit at forms.gle/khAHZfGpCxff5vAEA. The deadline for all nominations is July 15, 2022.

2021’s Ocean Hero Award Recipients

J.Staines, J.Chanona, K.Andrewin(2)-oceana-ocean-hero-awards-2021

Vice President Janelle Chanona presents Oceana’s 2021 Ocean Hero Awardees: Chef Jennie Staines (L) and Kevin Andrewin (R).

With 2021 marking its 11th annual award ceremony, Oceana virtually recognized two extraordinary Belizeans as its 2021 Ocean Heroes on Wednesday, September 29. This year, marine conservationist Kevin Andrewin and local San Pedrana Chef Jennie Staines took home the prestigious award for individuals embodying ocean conservation, advocacy, and education.

Since the early 90s, Kevin Andrewin has dedicated his life to working with sea turtles and manatees in his home village of Gales Point Manatee. Now, decades later, he works alongside his wife and kids to educate others, both locally and internationally, about turtle and manatee conservation in Belize. Most notably, in his role as Chair of the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary, Andrewin has partnered with Marymount University to lead the Hawksbill Hope program that uses satellite tags to track the movement of hawksbill turtles nesting in Belize.

Chef Jennie Staines is a Oceana 2021 Ocean Hero.

For over a decade, Staines has worked alongside fisherfolk across the country to promote responsible seafood sourcing, including the creation of her own crab claws project to harvest stone crab claws in the most sustainable way possible. As a leading participant in the Fish Right, Eat Right program since its inception, Chef Jennie continues to work tirelessly toward a sustainable seafood industry in Belize as the head chef of her family restaurant, Elvi’s Kitchen on Ambergris Caye.

Images courtesy Oceana Belize.

Related Articles