Santa Monica, California . Singer/actress Jessica Simpson cheered as husband Nick Lachey, a fellow singer and actor, and actress Kelly Hu received the Triton and Guardian of the Reef awards for their support of coral reef conservation at Reef Rescue 2004 last Thursday night 30 September . The annual Reef Rescue charity event benefits the Reef Check Foundation of Los Angeles whose mission is to stop the Global Coral Reef Crisis.
Kelly Hu was presented with the Guardian of the Reef award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and creativity to raise public awareness, promote coral reef education, and foster community participation in the protection of coral reef ecosystems. Nick Lachey received the Triton Award to recognize his environmental consciousness and commitment to keeping our reefs healthy for people and marine life. Both honorees took part in the inaugural Kelly Slater Invitational in Fiji last May. Nick and Kelly snorkled on local reefs with RC Fiji team members, learning more about coral reefs, the impacts reefs are facing, and how Reef Check is contributing to the solution.
“When we were in Fiji last May, we learned about the work that Reef Check is doing to save coral reefs, and they need our help,” said Lachey.
Kelly Hu, originally from Hawaii felt a very personal connection to the cause. “I grew up in the islands and I have personally seen the problems that overfishing and pollution have caused on our reefs. I was very impressed with how Reef Check works with local villagers in Fiji to help them take care of their reefs.”
Actress Sharon Lawrence emceed the event and said, “I s tarted diving in the Caribbean right after college and went on to become an advanced diver. I love it. Sadly, the coral reefs that I saw more than twenty years ago have been so badly damaged that they are hardly recognizable. Thank goodness that Reef Check has teams in over 70 countries working to save the reefs.”
Other celebrities lending their support to the evening included, Barbi Benton, Carol Connors, Cheryl Holdridge, Ryan Carnes, Brody Hutzler, Kate Linder , Terry Moore and Kyla Pratt .
The surf industry was also heavily represented with attendees from across the board including 2004World Long Board Champion Daize Shayne and Body Glove Founder and diving/surfing legend Bob Meistrell .
The funds raised benefit the non-profit Reef Check Foundation and the new Reef Check California program. Founded in 1996, Reef Check is the world’s largest coral reef monitoring program and works directly with communities, governments and businesses in over 70 countries worldwide to scientifically monitor, restore, and maintain the health of the globes oceans. Reef Check has received numerous international environmental awards for its work, and is the United Nations’ official community-based reef monitoring program. Reef Check also offers numerous volunteer opportunities to individuals interested in participating including reef education and monitoring training as well as reef expeditions to exotic tropical locations. Reef Check is also an inclusive organization sponsored by a wide range of environmentally responsible companies including BodyGlove, Quiksilver, Stone Brewing Company, Shikai Products, Gloria Ferrer wines and the Outdoor Life Network.