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Oceana Magazine Spring 2011: Donor Profile: Maureen Case

Maureen Case is president of luxury cosmetic brands La Mer, Jo Malone and Bobbi  Brown, and a longtime supporter of Oceana. La Mer has partnered with Oceana for the last six years on the World Oceans Day campaign.

What was the impetus for creating the La Mer – Oceana partnership?

Ocean conservation has always been important to La Mer. Dr. Max Huber, the founder of La Mer and creator of the legendary crème, believed in the healing powers of the sea and understood the value of the oceans and marine life. Dr. Huber discovered something very special in the ocean, sea kelp, the key ingredient used to make Crème de La Mer’s Miracle Broth. To this day we respect this heritage by responsibly harvesting only the top section of the sea kelp that reaches the ocean’s surface in order to help sustainably maintain the valuable underwater sea kelp forest and protect the plant for future generations. La Mer honors Dr. Huber’s legacy through our partnership with Oceana.

What is the nature of a private sector company reliance on bountiful oceans?

The ocean contains untapped resources with the potential to provide us with even more sea-born ingredients with benefits that have yet to be discovered. La Mer scientists work with biological and conservation organizations that research marine life to discover sea plants that have beneficial properties for the skin. It is because of our connection to the sea in this way that we support marine habitat protection.

Is there a defining experience in your life that connects you to the oceans?

I am an avid certified diver, so I have always had an appreciation for the ocean. I love to take my kids diving and hope to instill a love for the sea within them as well. My favorite place to dive with my children is off the coast of Belize, so I could not have been more thrilled with Oceana’s expansion in Belize. January Jones graciously participated in a “La Mer dive” with us last year to help support our viral campaign to raise awareness of Belize’s endangered marine ecosystem.

What do you see as the responsibility of the private sector for the protection and conservation of our oceans?

I strongly believe that corporations should be socially conscious and give back in a meaningful way. This year, in honor of World Oceans Day, La Mer has created a limited-edition 100 ml World Oceans Day Crème de la Mer in a commemorative ocean-inspired jar. In addition, La Mer will make a $200,000 donation to Oceana in support of their Habitat Protection Campaign as well as other global initiatives for ocean conservation.

What is La Mer’s biggest success as a champion of the oceans?

La Mer has helped fund Oceana’s Ranger expedition for the past two years, which  onducts research in the Mediterranean.In 2008 off of the coast of Spain during this Ranger expedition, Oceana’s team of scientists discovered a rare endangered deep-sea white coral ecosystem. This ecosystem that was never known to exist contains hundreds of aquatic species hat need to be protected, and now they have a chance. It was a remarkable find for Oceana and an honor to be able to say that La Mer has contributed to this particular success in ocean protection.

What challenges do you still see ahead?

To see a difference will take time. La Mer will continue to stay committed to advocate for meaningful change.