The New Year promises to bring many exciting changes here at Oceana. The first among many exciting pieces of news is that Oceana recently hired a new Vice President to lead conservation efforts in our Belize office—Janelle Chanona.
Janelle, a long time anchor for Channel 5 in Belize, most recently ran her own media and production company. She has advised several environmental groups in Belize (including Oceana). She is a graduate of St. Johns College in Belize, of Loyola College in Baltimore in the United States and received a Master’s degree with distinction from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. A passionate diver, she is a frequent visitor to Belize's barrier reef, the largest such reef in the Western Hemisphere.
Janelle began work at Oceana's offices in Belize City today. She will lead Oceana's campaigns in Belize—and seek to win policy victories that stop offshore oil drilling, which could ruin Belize's reef, as well as efforts to promote responsible fishing practices in Belize's waters. Oceana has already had great success in Belize. We were able, for example, to convince the government to ban all trawling in Belizean waters.
Just a few weeks before Janelle joined Oceana, longtime supporter Angela Kinsey and her friend Rashida Jones, star of the popular U.S. television show “Parks and Recreation,” traveled to Ambergris Caye, Belize in support of Oceana’s work.
Shortly after her trip, Jones discussed her experience snorkeling with nurse sharks on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” bringing national attention in the U.S. about Oceana and the need to protect Belize’s reef. This kind of attention will help Janelle’s efforts going forward (as the U.S. is very important for Belizean tourism). You can watch the clip here.
For the oceans,
Chief Executive Officer