And the winner is... Hawai'i. The Surfrider Foundation's O'ahu Chapter recently celebrated its eighth annual John Kelly Environmental Achievement Awards to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to protect and enhance O'ahu's coastal community and environment. The annual event is held in memory of John Kelly, who passed away in 2007. He was one of Hawai'i's legendary surfers and environmental activists, and the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Over 300 supporters attended the awards ceremony, held at the Waimea Valley Pavilion, and were treated to dinner, a silent auction and live music by Rob Barreca, Paula Fuga and Jive Nene. Lifeguard and world champion bodysurfer Mark Cunningham graciously accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and leadership with the Defend Oahu Coalition and the Junior Lifeguard Program. The Honolulu Weekly received the Environmentally Friendly Local Company Award for their coverage of environmental issues on O'ahu and Duane DeSoto accepted the Professional Surfer Award for his dedication to Na Kama Kai, a program he founded that offers ocean awareness and safety classes to children around the island. And as if the libations from Kona Brewery didn't already add to the celebratory atmosphere, Jack Johnson grabbed his axe and joined Paula Fuga for an impromptu jam session.