Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT will present its 2019 America and the Sea Award to American businesswoman and philanthropist Wendy Schmidt. The prestigious award recognizes those individuals and organizations whose extraordinary achievements in the world of maritime exploration, competition, scholarship, and design best exemplify the American character.
Schmidt is President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, which supports programs in renewable energy, healthy food and agriculture, and human rights. Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, an additional foundation program, supports the development of new ocean technologies with applications for conservation and research in areas including habitat health, marine plastic pollution, and sustainable fisheries.
“We are delighted to honor Wendy’s passion for and dedication to the sea,” said Mystic Seaport Museum President Steve White. “She stands as an exemplar for maritime studies and stewardship, and thus it is an honor for us to call more attention to her noteworthy work.”
Schmidt is co-founder, with her husband Eric, of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, which operates the research vessel Falkor, a mobile platform to advance ocean exploration and discovery, using open source data to catalyze the sharing of information about the oceans. Since 2013, more than 500 scientists from 165 institutions and 30 countries have conducted research on R/V Falkor. She has sponsored two XPRIZE Challenge Prizes focused on ocean health, and currently serves as the lead philanthropic partner of the New Plastics Economy Initiative, driven by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Schmidt has extended her oceans-focused work to the sporting world through 11th Hour Racing, partnering with the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 and the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team to put sustainability at the core of their operations, empowering race managers and athletes to be leaders and spokespeople on restoring ocean health.
A black tie gala will be held in Schmidt’s honor in New York City Wednesday, October 30, 2019. For invitations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-572-5365. ■
Dan McFadden, Mystic Seaport Museum’s Director of Communications, contributed to this report.