Speaking up for big blue

Media Contacts
Elizabeth DiSanto

New project highlights dozens of community leaders pushing for stronger ocean protections

Environment America Research & Policy Center

BOSTON — As threats facing our oceans like plastic pollution and oil drilling are on the rise, community leaders from across the country are standing up to lend a voice to the ocean. Environment America Research & Policy Center launched a new project “Voices for Our Oceans” on Tuesday to highlight the stories of community leaders who are fighting to save our oceans.

“I’ve grown up just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean my entire life. My fondest memories growing up as a kid were visiting Santa Monica Beach with my family, and admiring the majesty of our beautiful ocean,” said Andrew Lewis, a Voice for our Oceans and councilor on the North Westwood Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles. “This is a memory I’d love for my kids, and their kids, to experience one day. It’s ever-more important to protect our oceans from environmental disaster, and ensure they remain a treasure to enjoy.”

The website highlights over 50 community leaders from across the country —  from coastal Massachusetts to Los Angeles valley, and from Florida Keys in the Atlantic to Hawaiian islands in the Pacific. The Voices for Our Oceans website showcases the diverse and passionate voices across the country that are pushing to protect our oceans, including small business owners, oceanographers, students, environmental consultants, lawyers and elected officials.

Globally, only 13% of the ocean can be classified as wilderness, and marine ecosystems face increasing risks. A garbage truck worth of plastic enters the oceans every minute, and offshore oil drilling continues to threaten marine mammals, sea turtles and coastal birds. To address these risks, Environment America Research & Policy Center is working to protect 30% of American oceans by 2030, and half of them by 2050.

As part of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s campaign, Voices for Our Oceans submit public comments, attend hearings, write and submit advocacy pieces to local media outlets, among other actions — all in the name of protecting more of our country’s oceans.

“So much of what I love about my life takes place in the ocean. Surfing, kiteboarding, scuba diving and just being in the water have brought so much joy to my life. But that’s only possible if our oceans are healthy,” remarked Oliver Welch, an undergraduate student at Tufts University.

The goal of the Voices project is to lay the groundwork for winning long-term protections for our country’s oceans, and build momentum for the movement to save our ocean. If you’re interested in joining the Voices for our Ocean movement, you can sign up here

“It’s inspiring to be part of a project that connects community leaders and ocean activists across the country,” added the Voices for Our Oceans Coordinator and Environment America Oceans Associate Elizabeth DiSanto. “The hundreds of stories I’ve read and dozens of folks I’ve met who are advocating for our oceans make me hopeful for the future of our oceans — but we need everyone to speak up if we’re going to save our very blue planet.”


Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment America is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.