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February 11, 2008

Contact: Sarah Marquis, NOAA, 949-222-2212

NOAA, California Resources Agency Honored for "Thank You Ocean" Campaign

The California Resources Agency and NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program have been honored for their joint “Thank You Ocean” campaign, which encourages Californians to learn about and respect the ocean.

The campaign, designed and organized by state and federal agencies and supported by more than 200 public and private ocean interests, will receive a 2007 Coastal America Partnership Award at a ceremony held at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

“By bringing together federal and state agencies, an alliance of non-governmental organizations, educators, and marketing specialists, the ‘Thank You Ocean’ team took a unique approach to communicating the challenges facing our ocean and coastal environments from a visual and content framework,” said Timothy R.E. Keeney, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, who presented the award.

While the campaign is in its early stages, more than 2,500 Californians have taken part in “Thank You Ocean” activities and workshops. A public service announcement video is also available online.

"Thank You Ocean" is a California-wide ocean awareness campaign designed to spur involvement in ocean protection, and is a direct response to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Ocean Action Plan, released on the shores of Point Lobos State Reserve in October 2004. The campaign also fulfills one of the actions outlined in the California Ocean Protection Council’s Strategic Plan. A phrase from the campaign explains the concept: "The Ocean takes care of us. Let's return the favor."

The campaign includes advertisements, a public service announcement and a Web portal to ocean information,, where people can find out how their daily decisions affect ocean life, ocean conservation issues, and what people can do to help the ocean.

The Coastal America Partnership was established in 1992 to protect, preserve and restore coastal watersheds by integrating federal actions with state and local government and non-governmental efforts. Federal partners include the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State and Transportation, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Force, Army, Navy, and the Executive Office of the President. To recognize outstanding partnership efforts, Coastal America established a national awards program in 1997.

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