World-Renowned Deep Sea Explorer Dr. Robert Ballard To Receive Environmental Stewardship Award

CHARLESTON, S.C. — April 25, 2014 — World-renowned deep-sea explorer Dr. Robert Ballard will receive the South Carolina Aquarium Environmental Stewardship Award on Thursday, May 8, 2014.  The eighth Annual South Carolina Aquarium Conservation Gala, taking place on Liberty Square in Charleston, S.C., recognizes individuals that have worked to protect the environment and our oceans.  Dr. Ballard is being honored for his commitment to conservation and sustaining our natural world through his research, education initiatives, and exploration.

The evening will include cocktails, seated dinner, award presentation and live entertainment at the After-Affair.  The charitable evening will raise funds for the South Carolina Aquarium’s diverse environmental, education and conservation programs.

More about Dr. Ballard:

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks.  While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and “black smokers” in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise, along with exotic life forms living off the energy of the earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.  In addition to being a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-residence and commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Dr. Ballard is president of the Ocean Exploration Center at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT.

Dr. Ballard was born in Wichita, Kansas, but moved to California at a very young age and grew up exploring the shore in San Diego.  Dr. Ballard has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.  An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard’s fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea.

Past recipients of the Environmental Stewardship Award include Robert “Ted” Turner III, Dr. Sylvia Earl, former Vice President Al Gore, Alexandra Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau, Jr. (the children of Philippe Cousteau, Sr., and grandchildren of legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau); Senator and Mrs. Fritz Hollings, and author Pat Conroy.

The eighth Annual South Carolina Aquarium Conservation Gala takes place May 8, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Individual tickets are $300 per person; ten-person table reservations are also available.  Contact Tanya Fitzgerald at tfitzgerald@scaquarium.org or (843) 579-8540 for more information about this event, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

For all media inquiries, please contact Kate Dittloff at (843) 579-8660 or kdittloff@scaquarium.org.

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