America and the Sea Award
The America and the Sea Award recognizes an individual or organization whose contributions to the history, arts, business or sciences of the sea best exemplify the American spirit and character. Presented annually by Mystic Seaport, the award honors and celebrates those who embrace the scholarship, exploration, adventure, aesthetics, competition, and freedom that the sea inspires.
Mystic Seaport presented its 2017 America and the Sea Award to David Rockefeller Jr. and Sailors for the Sea at a gala held in their honor in New York City October 11. Sailors for the Sea, which was co-founded by Rockefeller, works to engage the boating community in the worldwide protection of the oceans. Through its Clean Regattas and Ocean Watch programs and Green Boating Guide, the organization successfully motivates boaters to become environmental stewards.
The America and the Sea Award Gala is the single largest fundraising event for Mystic Seaport. Proceeds from the event benefit the mission of the Museum to inspire an enduring connection to America’s maritime heritage.
David Rockefeller Jr. and Sailors for the Sea: 2017
“We are proud to recognize the tremendous contribution David Rockefeller Jr. and Sailors for the Sea have made to educate and activate the maritime community in the goal of conserving and protecting the health of our oceans. By forging a connection between boaters and ways in which they can help conserve the environment, they inspire all of us to take better care of the world in which we live,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport.
“Sailors for the Sea and I are incredibly honored to join the illustrious roster of America and the Sea Award recipients. Through this opportunity we look forward to fostering an even deeper collegial relationship with Mystic Seaport, broadening the scope and outreach of both organizations. It paves the way for our two organizations to collaborate more directly on projects that serve our shared ideals, and raise awareness of the issues both organizations hold dear, our maritime past and present and the future vitality of our oceans,” said Rockefeller.
David Rockefeller Jr., Chairman of Rockefeller & Co., is an active participant in the nonprofit arena, especially in the areas of the environment, the arts and philanthropy. He served as a member of the Pew Oceans Commission from 2000-2003, and he founded Sailors for the Sea to educate the recreational boating community about significant challenges to ocean health and to motivate them to become ocean stewards. Sailors for the Sea is located in Newport, RI, with satellite offices in Japan, Portugal, and Chile.
Rockefeller is a Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Cultural Council and the David Rockefeller Fund. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Former foundation affiliations include service as Trustee and Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, President of the Rockefeller Family Fund and Director of the Boston Foundation. He is the former chair of the North American Nominating Committee for the Praemium Imperiale, the Japanese prize for outstanding international achievement in the arts.
He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and is married to Susan Cohn Rockefeller, an artist and filmmaker.
Past recipients of the America and the Sea Award include oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle, historian David McCullough, legendary yacht designer Olin Stephens, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation, Thomas Crowley, philanthropist William Koch, former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, WoodenBoat Publications founder Jon Wilson, yachtsman and author Gary Jobson, maritime industrialist Charles A. Robertson, author Nathaniel Philbrick, and Rod and Bob Johnstone and their company J/Boats.