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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A local sea turtle advocate from the Topsail Island area is the winner of Oceana's Ocean Hero Award, according to Oceana's website.
Jean Beasley established The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in memory of her daughter, who led a local effort to protect sea turtles before passing away from leukemia at 29.
Of the more than 300 nominees submitted, the finalists were narrowed down to six adults and six children, and the finalists with the most votes in their respective categories won. Beasley received hundreds of nominations for the award, and earned more than 7,000 votes.
“[I was] a bit incredulous," said Beasley regarding her win. "I know that all the people that were nominated were worthy…I also have really strong feelings about the fact that it takes us all – whatever people are passionate about and whatever they’re doing and wherever they are – to help the oceans, and help the planet, and it benefits us all.”
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