To Be Presented at the 14th Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Watsonville, CA – September 4, 2018 – The Monterey Bay Birding Festival Association is honored to announce that our own, Debi Shearwater, will be presented the American Birding Association’s Ludlow Griscom Award for Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology at the 2018 Monterey Bay Birding Festival on Saturday, September 29th. the American Birding Association bestows the Ludlow Griscom award to individuals who have dramatically advanced the state of ornithological knowledge for a particular region. This may be through their long-time contributions in monitoring avian status and distribution or through the force of their personality, teaching and inspiration. 

As founder of Shearwater Journeys, Inc., Debi Shearwater has collected avian data for over four decades on Monterey Bay and many other places along the California coast. On her pelagic seabird trips, species new to California have been discovered and documented. Indeed, species of seabirds never before found anywhere in North America have been recorded on her trips, including White-capped Albatross, Great-winged Petrel, and Bulwer’s Petrel to name a few. It is perhaps, her long years of record keeping that might prove the most valuable for the conservation of certain seabirds, especially Ashy Storm-Petrel. Over 70,000 nature lovers have joined her at sea to witness seabirds from far flung areas of the world’s oceans. Jeffrey Gordon, President of the American Birding Association, said, “Debi Shearwater, with her boundless dedication to and passion for the seabirds of Monterey Bay and indeed all the world’s oceans, has done pioneering work that has greatly increased our understanding of the status, distribution, and conservation of these wonderful and mysterious birds. She has also done a great deal to raise awareness and appreciation of seabirds far beyond her home region, serving as a leading spokesperson for the amazing, ever-surprising birdlife of the seas.”

Debi is a world traveler, leading expedition voyages to remote places such as the Russian Far East, Galapagos Islands, Svalbard, and Antarctica. She is a past Director of the American Birding Association. She lives in Hollister with her beloved Great Pyrenees and is involved in conservation projects in San Benito County.

This year’s Monterey Bay Birding Festival takes place from Friday, September 28th, through Sunday, September 30th, 2018. Liz Deluna Gordon, Events Coordinator of the American Birding Association, will present the Ludlow Griscom Award for Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology to Debi Shearwater at 7 PM on Saturday, September 29th, at the Watsonville Civic Center Council Chambers located at 275 Main Street, Watsonville. Immediately following the award ceremony, Debi will introduce Jonathan Franzen who will give the keynote presentation on “Seabirds: Their Beauty, Their Amazingness, Their Plight.”

About the Monterey Bay Birding Festival Association, Inc. An all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bird watching, conservation and education through hosting the annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival and other activities throughout the year. Learn more at