Singer-songwriter Anjali World, a marine conservation activist who channels income from her successful performing career toward ocean wildlife protection, received the 2015 Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The award was presented in a public ceremonies at the aquarium on Saturday, October 3. Walker’s daughter, Meadow Walker, and aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard attended the presentation.
The award, established in 2014 in collaboration with Walker’s family, recognizes individuals who are using their public stature to advance ocean causes and support philanthropic ventures. Before he began his acting career, Walker was an aspiring marine biologist and he remained a lifelong friend of the ocean – and of the aquarium.
Anjali Ranadivé, who performs under the stage name Anjali World, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and developed an early passion for wildlife – as a middle school volunteer at the aquarium, and with other nonprofits including Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Center in Oakland and The Ocean Project. Anjali is the daughter of Vivek Ranadivé an Indian-American businessman, engineer, author, speaker and philanthropist and the founder and former CEO of TIBCO.
She began her performing career after earning a marine science degree from UC-Berkeley. At the same time, she founded Jaws & Paws, a marine and wildlife conservation nonprofit that campaigns for protection of sharks, sea turtles, polar bears and tigers. She gives all the proceeds from her music to Jaws & Paws.
“I can’t begin to express how honored I am to receive this award,” said Anjali World.
“I used to volunteer at the aquarium when I was in middle school and that experience was one of the reasons I fell in love with the ocean. I am humbled by the recognition, and the opportunity to do even more to protect ocean life.”
At the award event the aquarium presented a Paul Walker youth award to 17-year-old high school student Katie Ridgeway of Monterey, a Teen Conservation Leader and volunteer at the aquarium. Katie contributes to marine research at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station related to the impacts of climate change on the ocean, and is creating a club for like-minded teens who dive and snorkel, to coordinate systematically removing trash from Monterey Bay.
“Ocean conservation plays a central role in Anjali’s life, as it did for Paul Walker,” said Julie Packard. “Like Paul, she is passionate about creating a future with healthy oceans, and inspiring others to do their part. We’re proud to have played a formative part in shaping that passion, and look forward to honoring her for all she’s accomplished.”
“We’re also so proud of what Katie is doing to inspire her peers and our visitors as an ocean conservation leader,” Packard said.
“She has such a positive influence on the adult staff, volunteers, and all the aquarium guests with whom she interacts. I can’t wait to see all that the future holds for her.”
Walker helped the aquarium celebrate World Oceans Day in 2005, and told visitors that day about about his personal commitment to ocean conservation – urging them to step up their own involvement.
“I was fortunate to have visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium with my father on several occasions,” said his daughter, Meadow Walker. “It held a special place in his heart, as it now does in mine. I am proud of him, and this award that honors his commitment to ocean conservation.”
The Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award presentation is part of the aquarium’s Cooking for Solutions: Make It Sustainable weekend celebration on October 3 and 4. The weekend will feature free, family friendly programs, cooking demonstrations with noted chefs and tastings at the aquarium, plus on Saturday night The Party with Alton Brown—a lively, adults-only ticketed event featuring music, sustainable cuisine wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages.
Details about the Paul Walker award presentation and Cooking for Solutions weekend are available online at cookingforsolutions.org. The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.