Raincoast Ocean Science Awards

Photo by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, SARA Research License XMMS-2-2022. 

The world’s oceans are imperilled as never before, by climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, underwater noise, and overfishing. Yet, since Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s establishment in 1996, we’ve witnessed a plethora of inspiring efforts aimed at mitigating these challenges.

The Raincoast Ocean Science Awards celebrate outstanding achievements by individuals and groups striving to protect marine habitats through science, Indigenous Knowledge systems, and public engagement. 

Two sockeye salmon swimming in a river.
Photo by Fernando Lessa.
SV Achiever in the open ocean with a double rainbow overtop.
Photo by John Kelsey.

A long history

These awards have served to celebrate ocean conservation in British Columbia, since their establishment in 1995 as the Murray A. Newman Awards at the Vancouver Aquarium. Raincoast is proud to be able to continue this legacy. Raincoast has been applying a unique model of informed advocacy to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of coastal BC for over 25 years. All of our projects are rooted in rigorous, peer-reviewed research and science, and informed by community engagement. 

Past recipients 

Recipients from past awards include David Suzuki, Daniel Pauly, Cristina Mittermeier, Brian E Riddell, Chris Darimont, Danielle Shaw, Rashid Sumaila, John Reynolds, and Verena Tunnicliffe, to name a few.

Four awards celebrating ocean science in Canada

The Newman Award for Excellence in Conservation and Research is presented to an individual, team, or organization for significant work and/or an entire career of leading contributions in ocean research and/or conservation. This award honours the founding President of the Vancouver Aquarium, a longstanding advocate of aquatic sciences, education, and conservation.

The North Award for Lifetime Contribution to Ocean Conservation is granted to an individual whose lifelong commitment to ocean conservation provides an example to all. The award is named to honour Rudy North, a passionate supporter of ocean science and conservation.

The Raincoast Student Award, formerly known as the Michael Biggs Student Award, recognizes outstanding research undertaken by graduate students.

The inaugural Nightingale Award in Ocean Engagement provides an opportunity for individuals or organizations to make an impact in improving the world’s oceans through engagement activities that harness knowledge and science. This bursary supports initiatives that enable the public to be inspired, learn, and participate in advancing ocean conservation. The bursary honours Dr. John Nightingale, tireless ocean defender and former President and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and founder of the global conservation organization Ocean Wise.

Birds eye view of three killer whales at the surface of the ocean.
Photo by Lance Barrett Lennard / Ocean Wise. Taken under permit.
Sea otter eating a crab.
Photo by Eric Sambol.

The review committee

All applications and nominations will be reviewed by a five person committee comprising three Raincoast staff and two external members. All committee members have experience in aspects pertaining to ocean research, conservation, and action.

Recent articles

Folks from Ikaarvik accepting their Raincoast Ocean Science Award.

The inaugural 2023 Raincoast Ocean Science Awards 

The evening was attended by many inspiring change makers and during the evening, we distributed four awards to outstanding individuals and organizations.
Chris Darimont speaks at Ocean Awards at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Oceans Awards win – Raincoast’s Dr. Chris Darimont honoured with Murray A. Newman Conservation Award

Darimont was recognized for the significance of his work as well as a career that already includes important and leading contributions, in coastal science and conservation…