Whether for the love of surfing or sea turtles, many environmentalists draw their eco-activist inspiration from our oceans — and ocean-friendly nonprofit Oceana wants to reward Ocean Heroes.

This second annual Ocean Hero contest is seeking eco-superheros young and old. Simply nominate yourself, your friend, your neighborhood activist, or even your kid — a Junior category’s been added for those younger than 18 — at Oceana.org/heroes. Finalists selected by Oceana will get a Nautica gift certificate, and their stories will be featured on Oceana’s website, where people will be able to vote for the most compelling heroics. Winners will get a free trip to L.A. for the “Oceana World Oceans Day with Nautica and GQ” event on World Oceans Day, June 8 — in addition to a $500 gift card from Nautica.

The bar’s set high for the title of Ocean Hero. Last year’s winner was John Halas, a marine biologist who not only developed a reef buoy mooring system but also had it installed it in nearly 40 countries around. The Oceana site features many sweet ocean-friendly stories, though, like the one of 12-year-old Casey Sokolovic who baked cookies and sold organic coffee to raise money for a sea turtle rescue.

Get your nominations in by April 18! I’ll be nominating Sara Bayles, a friend and local oceans activist who has been cleaning up Santa Monica Beach. Sara plans to spend 20 minutes on 365 non-consecutive days picking up trash at the same spot on Santa Monica beach — documenting her efforts, and the amassed trash, at The Daily Ocean blog. So far, Sara’s collected 425.3 pounds in 106 days!

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