International ocean advocacy group Oceana today announced the opening of a new California regional office in Santa Monica. The office opening is a homecoming of sorts after an extended absence from the Los Angeles area. Oceana came into existence three years ago as the result of a merger between American Oceans Campaign (AOC) and the Ocean Law Project. Founded by Ted Danson in 1987, AOC was originally based in Los Angeles but moved to Washington, D.C. in 2001.
"What started as a few friends racking our brains trying to figure out how to preserve the oceans for our children has turned into an international movement," said Danson. "I am so proud of all the work Oceana is doing to save the world's oceans, and it's a great feeling to know that they're coming back home."
The new office will be headed by Dana DuBose, formerly the director of Oceana's successful Stop Cruise Pollution Campaign. DuBose, who grew up in Orange County, has worked in Oceana's Washington office since 2001 and boasts ten years of environmental and public policy experience. Prior to joining Oceana, she served as Legislative Director for late California Congressman George Brown, and then as Deputy Director for the Heritage Forests Campaign, a national environmental initiative which successfully advocated for federal protection of nearly 60 million acres of roadless areas in the National Forest System.
"Dana is one of the reasons that in just two years our organization has gone from a fledgling startup to a force in the international environmental community," said Andrew Sharpless, Oceana's Chief Executive Officer. "Her abilities along with her California background will be a tremendous asset as we step up our presence on the west coast."
DuBose said the office will focus on marine and coastal issues important to California as part of Oceana's overall domestic and international agenda. Oceana is currently advocating for three bills before the California state legislature. One would restrict bottom trawling -- a destructive form of industrial fishing that can do great damage to coral reefs and marine ecosystems -- in state controlled waters. The other two bills would limit the amount of sewage and wastewater that can legally be dumped by cruise ships off the California coast.
"California is on the frontline of the struggle to clean up our beaches and coastal waters," said DuBose. "Californians take great pride in their oceans and have always shown a willingness to preserve them. A strong presence here will be a great complement to the work we do in our other offices around the world."
Office Opening to Kick Off with Screening of IMAX Film "Coral Reef Adventure"
To kick off the office opening, Oceana will hold a private screening of the IMAX film Coral Reef Adventure on Monday, June 28th. Voted the best IMAX theater film of 2003 by the Giant Screen Theater Association, Coral Reef Adventure was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Greg MacGillivray.
In addition to dozens of prominent Los Angeles-area Oceana supporters, several Hollywood executives and celebrities are slated to attend, including: Ted Danson, Norman Lear, Josh Brolin, Diane Lane, Penny Marshall, Frank Marshall, Victoria Tennant, Richard and Lauren Shuler-Donner, Michael King, Frances Fisher, Keith Addis and Tommy Schlamme.
For more information, the new office is located at 501 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 312, or can be contacted by calling (310) 899-3026.