Joel Justin, a volunteer at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park, was honored Tuesday by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Justin was one of 14 people across the National Marine Sanctuary system nominated for the foundation’s Volunteer of the Year award. The recognition is part of Capitol Hill Ocean Week, an oceans-focused annual conference coordinated by the NMSF, a private nonprofit organization supporting NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
Justin has assisted the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps photo identification work on whale watch vessels by maintaining cameras, organizing data and training volunteers. He has served as a park interpreter and updated island education and outreach materials. He also designed and built park benches, a podium and table for the mainland auditorium.
“Joel has a family and a full-time job, yet he still manages to rise above our expectations as a true citizen steward through his support for the public resources managed by the sanctuary system,” sanctuary Superintendent Chris Mobley said. “His invaluable and enduring efforts have gone a long way in ensuring the preservation and protection of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park for future generations.”
Click here for a slideshow of images from Capitol Hill Ocean Week.
Managed by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary spans about 1,470 square miles, extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats and historical and cultural resources.
— Shauna Bingham is an outreach coordinator for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.