Raincoast Ocean Science Awards

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

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. 

Underwater photo of two sockeye salmon.
Photo by Alex Harris.
SV Achiever in the open ocean with a double rainbow overtop.
Photo by John Kelsey.

A long history

These awards have celebrated ocean conservation in British Columbia since their establishment in 1995 as the Murray A. Newman Awards at the Vancouver Aquarium. In 2023, Raincoast took over hosting the event and is proud to be continuing this legacy that aligns closely with our mission. For over 25 years, we have applied a unique model of informed advocacy to safeguard the lands, waters, and wildlife of coastal BC. All of our projects are rooted in rigorous, peer-reviewed research and science, and informed by community engagement. These awards celebrate individuals and groups committed to the same mission. .

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 and provides $2,000 in support of their work. 

The Nightingale Award in Ocean Engagement provides an opportunity for individuals or organizations to make an impact in safeguarding the world’s oceans through engagement activities that harness knowledge and science. This $25,000 bursary supports initiatives that inspire, educate, and engage the public in advancing ocean conservation. The bursary honours Dr. John Nightingale, ocean defender and former President and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and founder of the conservation organization Ocean Wise.

Overhead photo of a humpback whale surfacing.
Photo by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, taken under SARA Research License XMMS-2-2022.
Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.

Nominations for the 2024 Raincoast Ocean Science Awards

You can nominate an individual or group for an award by completing our online form. We appreciate you highlighting the work of those who inspire you. Applications close on August 1. 

All applications and nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee, with decades of experience in aspects pertaining to ocean research, conservation, and habitat restoration.
Recipients from past awards include David Suzuki, Paul Paquet, Daniel Pauly, Cristina Mittermeier, Brian E Riddell, Chris Darimont, Danielle Shaw, Rashid Sumaila, John Reynolds, and Verena Tunnicliffe, to name a few.

The 2024 Raincoast Ocean Science Awards event

We are currently planning the 2024 Raincoast Ocean Science Award evening, which will take place in October 2024 in North Vancouver. Limited tickets will be available for purchase through our website. We will update our mailing list with the most up to date information. Please sign up to receive updates. 

Charleen Thomas opening the Raincoast Ocean Science Awards evening.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Recent articles

Two humpback whales swimming near the surface.

Nominations are open for the 2024 Raincoast Ocean Science Awards

We are accepting nominations for worthy individuals and groups striving to protect lands, waters, and wildlife through science, Indigenous Knowledge systems, and public engagement.
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…