Ecotrust named Tech Award Laureate for innovative marine planning tools
Release Date: 09-26-2011

SAN JOSE, Calif. and PORTLAND, Ore – Ecotrust has been named as a laureate of The Tech Awards 2011, one of 15 global innovators recognized each year for applying technology to benefit humanity and spark global change. The award recognizes Ecotrust’s work on MarineMap, a web-based tool that helped the State of California create over 107 new marine protected areas totaling nearly 1400 square miles. Ecotrust developed the project in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and UC Santa Barbara. The Tech Awards selected Ecotrust from among hundreds of nominations representing 54 countries.

MarineMap is part of a larger Ecotrust toolkit of spatial planning solutions that facilitate better decision-making about the best economic and ecological uses of both land and water. Used by hundreds of stakeholders on the U.S. West Coast to implement new marine protected areas, evaluate waver energy proposals, and assess other proposed uses of the ocean, MarineMap is unique in placing social, economic, and ecological data together in a single, easy-to-use interface. Developed on an open-source platform, the tool provides users a highly intuitive, flexible, and powerful means of gathering expertise from resource managers, scientists, community stakeholders, and the public in a transparent and collaborative decision-making process.

Established in 2000, The Tech Awards recognizes 15 Laureates in five universal categories: education, equality, environment, economic development and health. These laureates have developed new technological solutions or innovative ways to use existing technologies to significantly improve the lives of people around the world. One Laureate in each category will receive a $50,000 cash prize during the annual Awards Gala in Santa Clara, CA on October 20.

“The Tech Award is an incredible honor, recognizing individuals and organizations who are truly making a difference in addressing the fundamental needs of people and the ecosystems that sustain them,” said Astrid Scholz, Ecotrust’s Vice President of Knowledge Systems. “Ecotrust is proud to be among those recognized for their contributions, and will continue to develop solutions that create economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental wellbeing in all of our work.

”The Tech Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity is one of the premier humanitarian awards programs in the world that annually recognizes technical solutions that benefit humanity and address the most critical issues facing our planet and its people. The awards program honors 15 scientists and innovators annually alongside the recipient of the Global Humanitarian Award. Laureates are selected by a prestigious panel of international judges organized by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University, and made up of Santa Clara University faculty as well as leaders from educational and research institutions, industry and the public sector around the world.

“The global challenges of the day have become increasingly strident, more deeply rooted,” said David Whitman, Vice President of Signature Programs at The Tech Museum. “Still, there is hope. These incredibly impressive Laureates have all proven to be equal to, or better than, the challenge to make the world a better place. By celebrating their accomplishments today, we are encouraging future innovators to work toward solutions to make the world healthier, safer and more sustainable.”

Key sponsors supporting The Tech Awards include Applied Materials, Inc., Intel Corporation, Nokia, Microsoft, Swanson Foundation, Flextronics, Polycom, Skoll Foundation, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Accenture, eBay, Qatalyst, Google, Wells Fargo, Xilinx, American Airlines, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Bain & Company, NBC11, San Jose Mercury News, Forbes, Stanford Social Innovation Review, TIME, Xfinity, MEMC Electronic Materials, Brassfield Estate Winery, Hilton San Jose, Convention Plaza Hotel, and Hayward Quartz Technology.

For more information about The Tech Awards, visit The Tech Awards

About Ecotrust
Over nearly 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $500 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and children’s health, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision-making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it honors and supports the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership in its work. Learn more at

About The Tech Museum 
The Tech Museum is a hands-on science and technology institution designed to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in experiences that educate, inform, provoke thought, and inspire action. Ensconced in the heart of Silicon Valley, the museum captures the spirit of the region through innovative content and programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and the internationally renowned The Tech Awards, which recognizes technology to benefit humanity. Daily, The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of pioneering ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum, visit The Tech Museum