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Lindblad Expeditions Donates $ 17,000 Expedition to Galapagos for November 2 OFF THE REEF Fall Benefit for International Ocean Film Festival

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Lindblad Expeditions Donates $ 17,000 Expedition to Galapagos for November 2 OFF THE REEF Fall Benefit for International Ocean Film Festival

17th Annual Event Salutes Dr. Sylvia Earle,
In Attendance to receive “2019 Ocean Champion” Award

Swedish Eco Activist Greta Thunberg Honored with “Next Generation” Award accepted on her behalf by Swedish Consul General Barbro Osher 

25 October 2019 – San Francisco, CA: Call it traveling for a cause.  On Saturday, November 2, San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival ( “Off the Reef” Fall Benefit will not only feature a preview of the Festival’s upcoming films for March 2020, but also raise money through a number of silent and live auction items including a luxury 10-day expedition to Galapagos aboard the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II. Valued at more than $ 17,000 the adventure cruise has been graciously donated by Lindblad Expeditions.

Click here for a video about Lindblad’s expedition to the Galapagos

“What better way to raise funds and awareness about our precious ocean habitat than by auctioning a splendid eco-friendly expedition to the Galapagos,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director of the International Ocean Film Festival. “Lindblad Expeditions is the definition of sustainable tourism and a true friend of the oceans, and the Festival.”

“We are delighted to support the International Ocean Film Festival. Film is a great platform for telling the stories of our endangered oceans,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.  “We are equally excited to celebrate our friend, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and her tireless efforts for ocean advocacy.”

As always, this year’s “Off The Reef” Fall Benefit  will feature sustainable, vegan food and drink, lively entertainment and pay tribute to those people whose lives and work reflect a commitment to ocean preservation This year, internationally acclaimed oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer, Dr. Sylvia Earle,84, will receive the Festival’s annual Ocean Champion Award—past awardees include Kip Evans, director of Expeditions for Mission Blue, Academy-Award winning director Louie Psihoyos of “The Cove” and Jeff Boehmn, Executive Director of The Marine Mammal Center.Swedish environmentalist and climate change activist Greta Thunberg,16, will be honored with the International Ocean Film Festival’s inaugural Next Generation Award, which recognizes extraordinary leadership from a young advocate raising environmental issues on a global stage. Accepting the award on her behalf will Swedish Consul General Barbro Osher.

Thunberg will receive the award after having recently completed a Trans-Atlantic journey by sail to minimize her own carbon footprint while attending global forum on Climate Change. The Next Generation Award recognizes not only Thunberg’s thought leadership on the urgency of addressing global climate change, which is causing a higher extinction rate in the seas than on land, but also her leading by example in her climate strike and individual actions to reduce carbon emissions. 

The 17th Annual “Off The Reef” Gala takes place Saturday, November 2 at The Bently Reserve (301 Battery Street, San Francisco and feature a vegan dinner, fine wine and a live auction, and the following schedule: 5:30pm – 7pm cocktail reception; 7pm-9pm dinner and program; 9pm ‘til 10:30pm music by DJ Bryce Williams. Highlighted during the evening will be teasers of the Festival’s upcoming films. Individual tickets are $ 250 and can be purchased online starting Wednesday, September 3, 2019 at

About The Year’s Honorees:

Oceanographer,National Geographic explorerand founder of Mission Blue, Dr.Sylvia Earle is an American marine biologist and considered “The Godmother of ocean preservation” and the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Time Magazine named her as its first “Hero for the Planet” in 1998. Earle is also part of the elite group Ocean Elders, which is dedicated to protecting the ocean and its wildlife.

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish citizen who, in August 2018 and at age 15, began spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament demanding immediate action to combat modern-day climate change. Her “school strike for the climate” began attracting media attention and she has since become an outspoken climate activist.  In response to the publicity, her strike spread globally after the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December of last year. On 15 March 2019,an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined her call in striking and protesting. A similar event involving students from 125 countries took place on 24 May 2019.  Thunberg has received various prizes and awards for her activism. In March 2019, three members of the Norwegian Parliament nominated Thunberg for the Nobel Peace r In May 2019, at the age of 16, she was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Some media have described her impact on the world stage as the “Greta Thunberg effect”. 

Commonly referred to as “The Sundance of ocean film festivals”, since its launch in 2004, the San Francisco-based International Ocean Film Festival has attracted thousands of spectators of all ages from around the world, including film enthusiasts, sea athletes, educators, and environmental supporters. Since then, the Festival has presented over 50 films from 15 different countries and featured post-film Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, special panel discussions with content experts, and the Annual Free Student Education Program. It was the first event of its kind in North America, inspired by the well-established ocean festival in Toulon, France, which has continued to draw large audiences for more than 40 years.

Current sponsors for the 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival include National Marine Sanctuary, BigBus of San Francisco, Gray Line Tours, SSA, Alcatraz Cruises, the Port of San Francisco and Pacific Gas & Electric. 

The 17th Annual International Ocean Film Festival takes place March 12 – 15, 2020 at San Francisco’s Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. The International Ocean Film Festival is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit. and social at: