Jack Johnson Sings Praises of the Aquarium as He Receives Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award

"It’s a full circle. Every time I come to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I’m inspired to write songs." - Jack Johnson

In an evening of words and music, singer-songwriter, philanthropist and ocean advocate Jack Johnson received the Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award at our 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Ocean.

Jack paid tribute both to the Aquarium and to actor Paul Walker, in whose memory the award was created. Paul’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, were in attendance.

Executive Director Julie Packard saluted Jack and Paul for using their voices to encourage others to create a world with healthy oceans.

"Paul was an aspiring marine biologist," Julie said. "He was a friend of the Aquarium, and a lifelong champion of the ocean. And I can think of no one better to receive this award in his name than Jack Johnson."

Making a difference in the world

The ocean, Julie said, “is part of his life, and his music. He and his wife Kim have used that connection to make a difference in the world. They’re leading the music industry in green practices and using their success on behalf of many social and environmental issues.”

Among the initiatives their foundation supports is the Aquarium’s annual Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit that helps teachers find new ways to engage their students around the issue of plastic pollution and ocean health.

"It’s a high-impact experience for the kids and teachers, who take what they’ve learned back to their peers and communities," Julie said. "We’re so grateful for Jack and Kim’s support."

'One of the honors of my life'

For his part, Jack said, “It is one of the honors of my life to be acknowledged by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s a very inspirational place. Whenever I bring my kids here, we have the best day, and we go away wanting to learn more about everything we’ve seen that day. 

"So, keep up all of the great work."

Of Paul Walker, he said, “I loved that guy. It’s an honor to be getting an award in his name.”

The celebration included some of Jack’s songs, a reception featuring Hawaiian music and dance, and dishes created in the aloha spirit by Seafood Watch Chef Ambassador Ed Kenney, a friend of Jack’s from Oahu.

All proceeds from the evening benefit our Children’s Education Fund.

We are so grateful to Jack and Kim Johnson for all that they do, and to the Paul Walker family for partnering with us to recognize individuals who — like Paul — are using their public stature in support of ocean issues.

Learn how you can support our Children’s Education Fund


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About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.