2019 Oceana New York Gala
Supporters in New York City gathered last Tuesday night at Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room to celebrate and support the oceans.
President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, introduced by Oceana Board of Directors Vice Chair Ted Danson, spoke about Oceana’s effectiveness on behalf of oceans. “I like Oceana because they’re old fashioned. When they say they’re going to get something done, they do.”
Oscar-nominated actress Diane Lane and Oceana board member Simon Sidamon-Eristoff were honored for their tireless commitment to safeguarding and revitalizing our world’s oceans.
Diane Lane spoke about the threats our oceans are facing today, including offshore drilling and seismic testing which she has previously helped win attention for on Capitol Hill. “I’m deeply honored to be a part of Oceana’s mission to save our precious one-and-only blue planet,” Lane told guests.
This year’s benefit focused on the crisis of plastic in the sea and launched Oceana’s global plastics campaign.
“We have a massive global plastic pollution problem on our hands,” said Oceana board member Susan Rockefeller, who hosted the event along with her husband and fellow Oceana board member, David Rockefeller, Jr.
“It’s crazy to design bottles and packages out of a material that is used once, often just for seconds, but then lasts forever. That just does not make sense,” said Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless.
The event raised a new Oceana record of more than $1.9 million. “These generous contributions are what have made Oceana’s victories possible and what will power us forward as we take on the challenge of stopping ocean plastic pollution,” said Sharpless.
Additional guests included Oceana board member and actor Sam Waterston, professional surfer Kai Lenny, cinematographer and director Reed Morano, and model and entrepreneur Sophia Hutchins.
The event was held at The Rainbow Room, an iconic venue 65 stories above Rockefeller Center. The evening concluded with a live musical performance by Rakiem Walker Project, a 6-piece band led by saxophonist Rakiem Walker.