This past Saturday our international spokesperson, Hayden Panettiere, was honored with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) Futures Award for her work with The Whaleman Foundation.
The EMA Futures Award honors younger entertainers for their potential to become dedicated lifelong environmental activists, and Hayden joins the ranks of past winners such as Daryl Hannah, Ed Norton, Justin Timberlake, and Ian Somerhalder.
Hayden first started working with Whaleman when she was just 15 years old and over the past 8 years we have seen her grow into a passionate advocate for our oceans, marine life, and the overall health of our planet.
Hayden not only uses her voice to raise awareness for crucial issues, but she also does not shy away from direct action.
In 2007, at just 18 years old, Hayden participated in a peaceful demonstration in Taiji’s famed dolphin killing cove that quickly turned violent as local fishermen began to attack the protestors, which was featured in the Oscar winning film The Cove, illustrating that Hayden does not allow anything to intimidate her or distract her from her mission to protect and preserve dolphins, whales, and our oceans.
Since then, Hayden has continued to stand tall for dolphins, whales, and our oceans by advocating for them at the International Whaling Commission, at the embassies of Norway, Japan, and Iceland, at the United States Congress and at the White House, and her efforts have been reported on throughout the world.
For all of this, and so much more, there is no one more deserving of this award.
At Saturday’s award reception, Hayden delivered an impassioned speech that captured the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance, especially Whaleman’s founder Jeff Pantukhoff. You can view an excerpt of Hayden’s speech below, and please join her efforts by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and by making a donation.