First Ever All Hydrogen Powered Ocean Exploration & Conservation Drive-In Experience – The Blue Hour – Oct. 10 at 6 PM – to Benefit AltaSea

Discoverer of the Titanic, Dr. Bob Ballard & International Opera Producer Peter Sellars among those appearing at event at the USS Iowa in San Pedro. Evening to include the U.S. premiere of Idomeneo. The night will also end with a unique art installation projected against the Iowa, fusing together scientific data and the artistic minds of Mason Rothschild, Annie Sperling and Refik Anadol.

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles — a unique public-private ocean institute that convenes and nurtures the best and brightest pioneers and organizations in science, business and education — is hosting their first-ever The Blue Hour, a spectacular drive-in experience focusing on LA as the global capital of the Blue Economy, and the importance of educating young people on ocean exploration and conservation. The Blue Hour will honor those who have paved the way for AltaSea and those who will continue to forge new paths. The event – with a maximum attendance of 240 cars — will take place on October 10, 2020 from 6:00-8:30 PM PDT in the parking lot next to the USS Iowa, a retired battleship moored on the San Pedro waterfront.

The drive-in experience is brought to you by Energy Independence Now (EIN), and will be powered by Toyota’s cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle technology. Considered to be the crucial next step in a zero-emissions future, hydrogen fuel cells leave no emissions behind. Tickets to The Blue Hour will go on sale on September 10. More information can be found at

“2020 is unprecedented in every way, but nothing will not stop us from recognizing and celebrating the people who are playing an important role in our ocean community – from some of the most accomplished ocean explorers to the next generation of ocean innovators,” said AltaSea CEO Tim McOsker. “AltaSea is fully committed to growing the Blue Economy and leading the charge in ocean preservation. The Blue Hour will bring a special focus to our work through an incredibly unique and fun evening – with social distancing included.”

AltaSea will present three awards throughout the evening, recognizing those who have both paved the way and inspired the next generation of ocean innovators and explorers through their work:

  • Explorer Award, recognizing Dr. Robert Ballard.
  • Ocean Innovation Award, recognizing Dawn Wright.
  • NextGen Award, recognizing Avantika Vajesh, a 4th grader from the local community.

Dr. Robert Ballard, founder and president of the Ocean Exploration Trust, has been named the recipient of the Explorer Award. Among the most accomplished deep-sea explorers, Dr. Ballard is best known for his discoveries of the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and numerous other shipwrecks around the world. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2003.

Dr. Dawn Wright will receive the Ocean Innovation Award. Dr. Wright serves as the chief scientist for the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), a world-leading geographic information system (GIS) software, research, and development company. She plays a critical role in strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while also representing the company to the international scientific community. Dr. Wright is an active board member of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other conservation agencies. Dr. Wright is also a professor of Geography and Oceanography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, winning Oregon Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in 2007.

The winner of the NextGen Award is a local 4th grader, Avantika Vajesh. Vajesh has lent her voice to AltaSea’s Project Blue, which gives students the platform to support Los Angeles as the center of Blue Economy and ocean conservation education.

Award-winning opera director Peter Sellars will premiere a section of his latest opera – a production of prolific composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Idomeneo. This critically acclaimed production of Mozart’s opera opened the 2019 Salzburg Festival in Austria. The Los Angeles Times praised Sellars’ “new progressive approach to opera as an agent for societal transformation and environmental activism that goes far beyond the usual directorial updating of opera beloved in Europe, too often for little more than show-business pizzazz.”1

Sellars has gained international fame for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces, along with his unique collaborations on projects with a wide range of creative artists. Sellars is actively involved with growing the next generation of artists in his role as professor at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance.

Idomeneo gives us a chance to examine ourselves and our relationship with the ocean,” said Sellars. “The United States premiere of Idomeneo, one of Mozart’s most brilliant works and one of my favorite projects, is going to be a really, really special moment.”

The night will conclude with a special, one-night only commissioned art installation by artists Mason Rothschild and Annie Sperling, in collaboration with world-renowned artist, Refik Anadol. The installation will be projected over the USS Iowa.

Mason Rothschild is a multi-sensory installation artist, stage designer and inventor. The founder and creative director of Discordian Design, Rothschild has worked with many global brands, including Netflix, Buzzfeed, and TikTok.

Annie Sperling is an artist and set designer, whose extensive portfolio includes music videos, commercial projects, and commissioned murals for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Sperling has served as production designer for many projects, working with global music stars Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus, and world-renowned artists David LaChapelle and Ellen Von Unworth.

Refik Anadol is an award-winning Turkish media artist and director. His work is known for its unique marriage of architecture and media arts through machine intelligence. Anadol currently is a lecturer and visiting researcher at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.

“Los Angeles is well known for two things – entertainment and the beautiful Pacific Ocean,” said McOsker. “And this experience is what AltaSea is all about: becoming a global beacon for economic recovery and growth by blending the Blue Economy with the creative economy.”

Among the breathtaking visuals to be shown on a 50-foot inflatable screen are:

  • An evocative and motivational collection of videos about the Wonders, Dangers, and Solutions found at sea.
  • Footage of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park filmed by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, making its “big screen” debut.
  • The debut of the Map of La Jolla Ocean Canyons, presented by the Walter Munk Foundation.

About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and inspiring the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just, and equitable world.

For more information on AltaSea, please see our website:



Kevin Byrum
310-414-9040 x114

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