Prestigious Award Furthers Efforts of Local Environmental Leader
New York, NY, June 21, 2012–Toyota and the National Audubon Society today announced that aTogetherGreenFellowship award will be given to a Puget Sound-based tall ship captain and environmental educator. After a competitive nationwide selection process, Joshua Berger, MA Environment & Community 2007, will receive a fellowship award to initiate 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 otherTogetherGreen Fellows help people engage with nature. They look like America: diverse, passionate, and patriotic,” said 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 aboardAdventuress—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.
AboardAdventuressand 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.