Lake Worth resident Philip Stone, a law enforcement officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), has received the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Award for Marine Conservation.
Officer Stone was honored for his dedication, particularly to the protection of sea turtles, at the FWC Commission meeting in Orlando. Fish & Wildlife Foundation CEO Andrew Walker made the presentation on behalf of the Guy Harvey organization.
“Well before joining FWC as a marine law enforcement officer in 2009, Officer Stone was active as a volunteer in sea turtle conservation in the Palm Beach area,” Walker said. “His desire to do even more to conserve Florida’s marine life and fisheries was a chief motivation in joining the FWC.”
As an FWC officer, Stone has worked with local law enforcement agencies to minimize impact to nesting and hatchling turtles while they conduct essential nighttime beach patrolling. He’s also helped Palm Beach and Martin county businesses and homeowners reduce coastal lighting that can disorient turtle hatchlings, luring them away from the ocean.
Widely covered in the media in 2016 was the FWC’s apprehension of an individual poaching threatened loggerhead turtle eggs from Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach County, an investigation led by Officer Stone. By apprehending the person in the act of digging up eggs, 92 eggs could be reburied and led to the hatching of 32 loggerhead turtles.
When off duty, Officer Stone continues to serve as a sea turtle volunteer, conducting nesting surveys, responding to sea turtle strandings, and – as a volunteer and officer – helping recover sick or injured turtles.
“We think Officer Philip Stone is a fitting choice for this award,” said Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation executive director Greg Jacoski. “He exemplifies all that Guy Harvey and our Foundation stand for – an unwavering lifetime commitment to understanding, conserving and appreciating the irreplaceable creatures that inhabit our oceans. We congratulate him and the FWC for all they do.”
Founded by marine biologist and artist Guy Harvey, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is an organization of philanthropists, conservationists, scientists and educators focused on developing sensible strategies for promoting the conservation of our oceans and nurturing the next generation of marine scientists and guardians of our seas.
Through the generous philanthropy inspired by Guy Harvey’s art, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation will fund exceptional research and innovative educational programs developed by universities, colleges, institutes, and nonprofit organizations.