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2023 MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS LUNCHEON
October 25 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2023 Contact: Angie Gaillard 251-307-5903
Time: Doors open at 11:00 am
Program Begins at 11:30 am
Place: Riverview Plaza Hotel – Bon Secour Ballroom
Tickets: $60 per person – $500 Table Sponor (8)
Reservations: Reservations are available by mail from the DISL Foundation office, by calling 251-307-5903, or
Marine Environmental Awards Luncheon: The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation will host the Eleventh Annual Marine Environmental Awards Luncheon on Wednesday October 25, 2023, from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at the Riverview Plaza Hotel. This will be a wonderful luncheon featuring Dr. Charlie Rolsky. Awards will also be presented to John Shell and Downtown Mobile Alliance who have both made outstanding contributions to marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region.
Our keynote speaker at our luncheon, on October 25, will be Dr. Charles “Charlie” Rolsky, the Executive Director and Senior Research Scientist for the prestigious Shaw Institute in Blue Hill, Maine. In his leadership role there, he continues to build on their strong reputation and legacy of researching links between environmental contamination and human health, which includes plastic pollution, PFAS chemicals, and other contaminants of concern.
To empower this important research, he has forged partnerships with scientific, environmental, and educational institutions worldwide, including an ongoing collaboration with New York University, Harvard University, and Colby College to measure microplastics in human tissue and explore how these pollutants impact human health. He also has a strong focus on monitoring marine species as sentinels for environmental health, including marine mammals and birds.
Charlie and his research have been featured on ABC News, BBC News, and PBS; and in the pages of The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Forbes, Smithsonian Magazine and many other prestigious media outlets worldwide. He is particularly renowned for his studies that revealed that materials marketed as being biodegradable – such as contact lenses and detergent pods – are, in fact, anything but that.
He received his master’s and PhD from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, where he researched plastic pollution in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. As a postdoctoral research scholar in the Biodesign’s Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Materials and Manufacturing, he focused on green chemistry and sustainable materials science. He also serves as the Director of Science for Plastic Oceans International, as a member of the Science Advisory Board of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and on the State of Maine’s PFAS Fund Scientific Advisory Committee.
Finally, Charlie and his team are extremely passionate about citizen science and public outreach, with groups ranging from kids to lifelong learners. A teacher for over eight years, he continues his mentorship through a range of internship and educational opportunities at the Shaw Institute.
Gulf Coast Marine Environmental Excellence Award – Recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region is John Shell – Eagle Reef Project
Gulf Coast Marine Environmental Leadership Award – Recognizes an organization whose efforts have resulted in the improvement of marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region. Downtown Mobile Alliance and Mobile Baykeeper – Peace Out, Plastic Initiative