Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala  
  On Saturday, September 8, we will celebrate the important work of the Reef Check Foundation, on the sand, at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica. It will be a casual "toes in the sand" evening featuring an opportunity to meet some of the thousands of volunteer divers who monitor these essential natural resources. The evening will also recognize the contributions of this year's "Heroes of the Reef" each having demonstrated an exemplary commitment to ocean conservation.

For additional information please call Reef Check at 310.230.2371 or email
  Honoring our Heroes of the Reef  
  Reef Stewardship Award
For his commitment to the conservation of our seas, demonstrated by his leadership in the authoring and successful passage of the bill banning the sale or possession of shark fins in California and his current efforts to raise awareness and protect the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle
  Assemblymember Paul Fong
California Assemblymember

Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) grew up in Sunnyvale and was elected as the representative of the 22nd Assembly District in 2008. His district, located in the southern Bay Area, is made up of Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and portions of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara and San Jose. Assemblymember Fong is the Chair of the Elections and Redistricting Committee and serves as a voting member of the Higher Education, Utilities and Commerce, and Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committees. In addition, Assemblymember Fong serves as Chair of the Select Committees on High Technology and Climate Change and Coastal Protection and is a member of the Select Committees on Biotechnology, Career Technical Education and Workforce Development, Community Colleges, Government Efficiency, Technology and Innovation, Homelessness, Job Creation for the New Economy and Regional Strategies for the Green Economy.

  Poseidon Awards
For their leadership and public service in the creation of a statewide network of marine protected areas in California through the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA)
  Commissioner Richard B. Rogers
California Fish & Game Commission

Richard B. Rogers was appointed to the California State Fish and Game Commission in 2005, where he is currently a co-chairman in the Marine Resources Committee.  He is also currently a member of the University of California President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture & Natural Resources.  Rogers serves as chairman of the Board at Pacific Earth Resources, a diversified horticulture service company, and general partner at the Pacific Ranch Company, a real estate investment company operating within the western United States.

William W. Anderson
MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force

William (Bill) Anderson has been president and chief operating officer of Westrec Marinas since 1989. Westrec Marinas is the nation's largest owner and operator of waterfront marinas. Anderson previously worked for the National Park Service as part of the management team that established the Golden Gate and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Areas. During that time, he worked with federal, state and local land management agencies, private land trusts and environmental organizations in developing complex land management strategies to preserve open space while providing for balanced public use.

Anderson is a past member of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council. He has also served as a board member of the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation and is the past President of the Association of Marina Industries. He was appointed to the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the both the central coast and the north central coast. Anderson is a graduate of Penn State University's Recreation and Park Management program.

  Don Benninghoven
MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force Chair & Former California Fish & Game Commissioner

Don Benninghoven retired as executive director of the League of California Cities (LCC) and later of the City-County-School Partnership. During his 40-year tenure at LCC, Benninghoven was intimately involved in every facet of municipal operations, financing, and policy. Working locally as well as statewide on issues involving local government training, revenue sources and community planning, Benninghoven served on a variety of statewide commissions, including the Governor's Commission on Transportation Financing (under Governor Gray Davis), Vice Chair of the California State Constitution Revision Commission (Governor Pete Wilson), and the Governor's Commission on Local Government Financing (Governor George Deukmejian).

Gregory F. Schem
MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force
Gregory F. Schem is president and chief executive officer of Harbor Real Estate Group, specializing in marina and waterfront real estate investments, including a marina, fuel dock, and boat yard in Marina del Rey, in addition to other California assets.  Schem has had a successful career in the national real estate market as an investor, developer and manager, including the re-development of loft residential units and hotels in Los Angeles, marinas, office buildings, shopping centers and industrial facilities.