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Captain Joshua awarded TogetherGreen Fellowship
Puget Sound Tall Ship Captain Recieves Audubon Toyota Conservation Fellowship
Prestigious Award Furthers Efforts of Local Environmental Leaders
Toyota and the National Audubon Society announced that a TogetherGreen Fellowship award will be given to a Puget Sound-based tall ship captain and environmental educator. After a competitive nationwide selection process, Joshua Berger will receive a fellowship award to intiate a project that aims to do nothing less than facilitate systemic change throughout the marine industries of Puget Sound.
TogetherGreen, a conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society and Toyota, selects 40 high-potential local leaders annually to receive a $10,000 grant. With the funds, Fellows conduct community projects to engage diverse audiences in habitat, water, or energy conservation. In addition to receiving support launching their conservation initiatives, the fellows also benefit from specialized training and the opportunity to become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.
"Joshua is an environmental hero. He and the other TogetherGreen fellows help people engage with nature. They look like America: diverse, passionate, and patriotic," says Audubon President David Yarnold. "Joshua is a leader, and we're pleased to give him a chance to invent the future."
Joshua's concept of "ship as sustainable community" is the basis of the project, entitled "Where BLUE meets GREEN," in which three, five-hour sail programs will be conducted aboard Adventuress - a 133-foot wooden tall ship and National Historic Landmark. Involving up to 75 industry leaders representing a range of communities along Puget Sound's shorelines, the project is designed to facilitate dialogue between multiple stakeholders (the small passenger vessel community, along with fisheries, marinas, recreational boaters, tribes, shipyards, and others with a stake in the Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and San Juan Islands regions). Topic areas covered during sail discussions include sustainable building/material use practices and their impacts to the marine and human ecology, along with methods of developing a typology of marine transportation guidelines for sustainable practices.
"As in the land-built environment and the great strides in the green building industry, strides are necessary to begin a process of greening marine vessels, and examples of sustainable models are needed to understand and discuss alternatives," he said.
Aboard Adventuress and as a staff member of the conservation organization Sound Experience, Berger provides a floating education platform for more than 5,000 young people and adults annually in an ongoing mission to preserve and protect the marine waters and estuaries of the Puget Sound region. He also develops education programs and sustainability initiatives, manages a crew of 15 (along with a network of hundreds of active volunteers), and directs a multi-year ship restoration project.
The TogetherGreen fellowship Program invests in high-potential individuals from all backgrounds, providing them with resources, visibility, and a growing peer network to help them lead communities nationwide to a healthier environmental future. To date, 200 environmental leaders from across the country have been awarded TogetherGreen fellowships. These leaders have worked with nearly 500 organizations and engaged over 100,000 people in community-based conservation action, achieving results in habitat, water, and energy.
A complete list of the 2012 TogetherGreen Fellows and details about their conservation projects can be found here.