Joel Justin, a volunteer at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park, was honored Tuesday by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) in Washington, D.C.

Justin was one of 14 individuals across the National Marine Sanctuary system nominated for the foundation’s Volunteer of the Year award. The recognition is part of Capitol Hill Ocean Week, an oceans-focused annual conference coordinated by the NMSF, a private non-profit organization supporting NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Justin has assisted the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps photo identification work on whale watch vessels by maintaining cameras, organizing data and training volunteers. He has served as a park interpreter and updated island education and outreach materials. He also designed and built park benches, a podium and table for the mainland auditorium.

“Joel has a family and a full-time job, yet he still manages to rise above our expectations as a true citizen steward through his support for the public resources managed by the sanctuary system,” said sanctuary superintendent Chris Mobley. “His invaluable and enduring efforts have gone a long way in ensuring the preservation and protection of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park for future generations.”

For a slideshow of images from CHOW, visit the NMSF website at

Managed by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect marine resources surrounding San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands. The sanctuary spans approximately 1,470 square miles, extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats and historical and cultural resources.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Find us on Facebook.


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