Shelby Tomas is an experienced leader in marine onservation and restoration, serving as the CEO and Founder of the Ocean Rescue Alliance (ORA). Her academic background includes a master's degree in Marine Ecology and she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Marine Biology at the University of Florida. She has also been a key participant in various marine restoration projects and previously worked as the head laboratory technician for AMEC Foster Wheeler in Gainesville.
As the CEO of ORA, Tomas has led several important initiatives, most notably the 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project. The project, which deployed over 85 reef modules off the coast of Palm Beach County, Florida, has helped to restore marine habitats and stimulate local economies.
Tomas also emphasizes public engagement in her work. Through the Coral Rangers citizen science program, she encourages community members to participate in environmental conservation. Her approach to conservation, which integrates science, art, and innovation, has contributed to ORA's unique position in the reef restoration industry.
Under Tomas's leadership, ORA has grown and fostered relationships with academic institutions, government agencies, non-profits, and industry leaders. Her work continues to have a notable impact on coastal communities and ecosystems.