Dr. Robert Ballard, a maritime archaeoligist who lives in Lyme and is known for finding the wrecks of the Titanic and the battleship Bismark, among many other discoveries, is among the fascinating/inspiring participants in Westport Library’s new virtual summer camp for kids. Camp Explore, which is free, features weekly presentations from a series of global experts.

The public is invited to hear famed underwater explorer Robert Ballard speak at the 4th Annual Paul McCarthy Memorial Lecture on Friday, February 4 at 5:30pm.


Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic shipwreck, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence

Robert Ballard is a veteran of more than 125 expeditions, many in search of lost ships and ancient

artifacts. He is president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, and director of the

Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.


A pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines, Ballard was on the first manned expedition of the

largest mountain range on Earth, the Mid-Ocean Ridge. Later he led an expedition off the Galápagos

Islands that discovered new life-forms on Earth, a discovery that has revolutionized our understanding

of the origin of life on our planet and increased the likelihood of discovering life elsewhere in the solar

system. Following his discovery of the Titanic, he went to find other lost legends in the sea including

the German battleship Bismarck, the aircraft carrier Yorktown lost during the Battle of Midway, and

President Kennedy’s PT-109.


Ballard, a former naval officer, is the recipient of numerous awards, including six military honors,

The Explorers Club Medal, and National Geographic’s highest award, the Hubbard Medal. During the 4th Annual Paul McCarthy Memorial Lecture, he will share stories of his underwater adventures and his vision of how technology can continue to advance the frontiers of exploration.


“We are very honored to have Dr. Ballard as our McCarthy Lecture speaker this year,” said SCCF CEO James Evans. “His career as the preeminent underwater explorer has informed so much of our understanding of the natural world.”


The lecture will begin at 5:30pm at SCCF’s Bailey Homestead Pavilion ay 1300 Periwinkle Way. Tickets sales will be limited to ensure maximum social distancing. Doors open at 5pm and light refreshments will be offered. The lecture can also be attended virtually. Tickets are priced at $20 in person, $10 for students, and $20 for virtual attendance. Tickets can be purchased only through Eventbrite at:

-In-person:  https://mccarthylecture.eventbrite.com


-Virtual:  https://mccarthylecturevirtual.eventbrite.com


The Paul McCarthy Memorial Lecture Series was conceived by the Boler Family Foundation, which underwrites the speaker fees and expenses to honor their dear family friend. Paul McCarthy was the founder of Captiva Cruises, and SCCF Trustee, and an active presence on the islands for many years.


For additional information about this event please contact Jeff Siwicke at 239-357-0457 and [email protected] or Cheryl Giattini at 239-822-6121 and [email protected].


SCCF is dedicated to protecting and caring for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems. To learn more about our mission-driven work please visit www.sccf.org.