A former New Canaan family was among the honorees at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk's recent annual fundraising gala, which raised a record $800,000 to support the aquarium's environmental education programming.

Michael and Nancy Herde and their children were among the recipients of the aquarium's 16th annual Red Apple Awards, which honor companies, organizations and individuals who share its concern for the natural world and environmental education.

The Herdes recently moved from New Canaan to the Boston area.

The awards were presented during the annual Cirque de la Mer gala, which supports the aquarium's Red Apple Fund for Student Enrichment. The fund helps make the aquarium's marine-science and environmental education programs available to schools in the tri-state area regardless of their ability to pay.

Of the $800,000 raised, $120,000 is earmarked specifically to help schools meet the costs of busing for field trips to the aquarium.

More Information

Fact box

Michael Herde, head of compliance for Fidelity Investments, is a former member of the aquarium's board of trustees. Nancy Jumper Herde was a member of the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk (one of the aquarium's original founding organizations).

In 2010, the Herdes sponsored an element of the aquarium's new exhibit, "Go Fish! Long Island Sound & Beyond." The exhibit's Jumper Herde Cafe is a mock cafe that demonstrates how seafood consumers can make good choices in markets and restaurants to help support healthy fish populations and smart fishing methods.

One of the couple's four children, Hannah, while in high school, volunteered and interned at the aquarium and served as co-chair of the Maritime Youth Advisors.

"We miss all of the Herdes for their devotion to the Fairfield County community, for their influence on the aquarium's story and for simply being a collection of tremendous individuals all together in one admirable family," said aquarium President Dr. Brian Davis.

Chairing the 2015 event were Morten Arntzen, an aquarium trustee, and his wife, Carolyn, of New Canaan.

For more information about Cirque de la Mer or the Red Apple Fund for Student Enrichment, call the aquarium at 203-852-0700, ext. 2277.