New York City is where Oscar-nominated actress and longtime Oceana supporter Diane Lane grew up and first discovered her love of the water. Nearby Jones Beach, Lane said, was a beloved urban refuge.
“Jumping in those waves is my happiest childhood memory,” she said. “I joined Oceana because I was inspired to fight back against apathy and feeling overwhelmed. I am energized and hopeful, despite the odds, because we have awakened from our sleep and denial about our planet’s predicament.”
In recognition of Lane’s dedication to preserving the world’s oceans, she will be honored at Oceana’s New York Gala on September 10. The theme of this year’s event is “the crisis of ocean plastic” – an issue Lane is all too familiar with, having spoken out about it long before the media buzz surrounding plastic straws and shopping bag bans.
In 2011, Lane addressed the crowd at Oceana’s annual SeaChange event in Santa Monica. Back then she told the crowd, “If we fail to save the oceans from ourselves, it would be a defeat on a scale that makes one shudder to envision. It touches us all eventually, from our health to our economy to our soul. What are we going to tell our children? That we gave up? We left it to the profiteers to fix? That we found the problems too complex or rife with international brinkmanship?
“Oceana uses the cumulative wisdom of science and whistle blowers to track the politics and policies that got us to this point. Oceana is where I turn for leadership in the changes that must be made to save our oceans. But it is up to us to be pro-active, ambitious, far-reaching, demanding the changes in policies, lobbying for tougher laws, innovatively improving equipment and enforcing these changes with some teeth.”
Indeed, Lane’s activism and lobbying efforts have made her a valuable voice to have on our side. She has used her platform to educate others about the many issues plaguing our ocean.
In the summer of 2018, she joined Oceana in Washington, D.C. to urge members of Congress to push for the passage of the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which would make it illegal to possess, buy or sell shark fins. Galvanized by a grassroots campaign led by Oceana, Canada passed a similar ban this July. The U.S. legislation is still advancing through Congress.
During that same visit to D.C., Lane also addressed her opposition to the practices of both offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting at a meeting arranged by Oceana with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Acting Director, Chief of the Office of Public Affairs and numerous other leaders.
For Lane, taking care of our oceans is not just a matter of conservation. It’s also about self-preservation. As Lane puts it:
“We are the hope of the sea and her inhabitants … We are their voice. Guardian. Advocate. Ally. Soldier. Parent. Politician. Lobbyist. Nurse. We go out of our way, for our own future, the future generations, and we go that extra mile for our mother, the ocean. Without her fertility we lose our collective soul.
What wouldn’t we do for our own mother?”
Diane Lane made her film debut opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in “A Little Romance.” She has received “Best Actress” honors by the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics, and Academy Award, SAG and Golden Globe nominations for her starring role in “Unfaithful”; a Golden Globe nomination for “Under the Tuscan Sun”; Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her leading role in HBO’s “Cinema Verite”; an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “A Walk on the Moon”; and an Emmy nomination for “Lonesome Dove.” She recently received glowing reviews for her co-starring role in the final season of Netflix’s “House of Cards” and has just wrapped production on the upcoming film “Let Him Go” with co-star Kevin Costner.