Environmental Excellence Awards


Each year we are inspired by stories of teachers and individuals making a difference for wildlife and wild places by inspiring our next generation of conservation leaders. They share our passion for helping to protect the world we share through education. Since 1993,  United Parks & Resort has recognized the outstanding efforts of educators across the country who are working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment by creating a conservation ethic in today's youth.

In partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Environmental Educator of the Year provides national recognition, funding and a big “thank you” to the efforts of these exceptional environmental education leaders. Additionally, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Environmental Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding students who are making a positive impact on the planet by leading environmental education or conservation programs in their community.


Who Is Eligible to Apply?

The Environmental Educator of the Year could be an outstanding youth or adult that has made outstanding efforts to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.  Nominees can be formal or informal educators, but all must have demonstrated successes in motivating others to help preserve and protect our environment.  Nominees must be U.S. citizens and have a majority of their education success within the U.S.

What Does the Nominee Receive?

The recipient of the Environmental Educator of the Year will receive $10,000 and an all expense paid trip to the National Science Teachers Association Conference.  They will be honored at an awards banquet at the conference.

How Do I Nominate?

Visit the NSTA Awards website for details on how to nominate your favorite environmental educator.


At SeaWorld, we believe it is critical for young people to take conservation action at an early age. Each year, we recognize the work of the next generation of conservation leaders with the Environmental Excellence Awards. Members of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Advisory Council, a group of young leaders from across the country who provide input and support to our work from a youth perspective, help coordinate the Environmental Excellence Awards program by working with us to identify outstanding young people up to age 22 leading exemplary environmental education and conservation projects. 

This year, we are proud to support the work of young conservation leaders with two award opportunities – our traditional SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Environmental Excellence Award which recognizes young leaders for their ongoing environmental conservation work and the new SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Entrepreneurial Award, which provides start-up funding to young leaders who propose environmentally proactive solutions that will solve a problem relevant to the applicant’s community.

All awardees chosen for the Environmental Excellence Award and the Sea World & Busch Gardens Youth Entrepreneurial Award will receive a trip for two to SeaWorld to our Environmental Excellence Awards reception as well as up to $1,000 to assist in helping with their efforts to change our world. Awardees will also gain recognition for their work in our parks and through our online and social media presence.

To be considered for the award you must:

  •   Complete and submit the written and video application. Note: Application questions vary between the Youth Environmental Excellence Award and Youth Entrepreneurial Award.
  •   Be 22 years old or younger as of August 26, 2019 and a resident of the United States.
  •   Demonstrate leadership in the field of environmental conservation or a detailed plan for a new environmental conservation project, depending on the award you apply for.
  •   Not be an employee or have a member of your immediate family that is an employee at United Parks & Resort.


Download a PDF of the application packet and questions before starting the online application form.
Get Inspired - check out our blog about last year's awardees.


Ready to apply? Click here to complete the online application by August 26, 2019!


Questions? Contact [email protected]