Etienne Bourgois, president of Tara Expeditions, received France’s highest honor, Knight of the Legion of Honor. The medal was presented to him on May 2nd by Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, in charge of international relations on climate.
First Etienne Bourgois expressed his surprise: “We didn’t even know about this! A friend called me to tell me the news. I’m happy and proud today because the project we created in 2003 has become a French foundation recognized as being in the public interest – independent, very active, with the same philosophy as at its beginnings, gathering scientists, artists and journalists to work together. Personally I love this mixture – people from very different backgrounds meeting around a common idea: to understand and protect the ocean. That’s what Tara is – at the same time it’s political and environmental action”.
For the president of the Tara Expeditions Foundation, this award honors Tara’s very raison d’être. “Above all it gives recognition for what Tara has been doing for nearly 14 years. This encourages all of us – Romain Troublé, executive director of the Tara Expeditions Foundation and his whole team – to continue, to develop new projects. Today, going beyond science, I think that Tara as a foundation can become a true think tank on the oceans”.
“Looking towards the future, I hope to continue organizing other high-level scientific missions, and also continue raising public awareness around the world. We recently created a Tara Foundation in Japan where we plan to develop other projects, including the analysis of the impact of plastic pollution”.
Just for the record: the ancestors of Etienne Bourgois have all received, without exception, the Legion of Honor since the beginning of the 19th century — a case of continuing the family tradition.
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