The evening celebrated Oceana’s victories for the oceans in the beautiful Pool Room at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. The benefit raised over $900,000 for Oceana.
Philanthropist and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was the evening’s honoree. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, recently launched the Vibrant Oceans initiative which committed $53 million to Oceana, RARE and EKO Asset Management Partners. This new initiative seeks to boost fish populations in Brazil, the Philippines and Chile, restoring a vital source of income and food for billions
At the gala, Bloomberg said, "Oceana’s impressive record is the reason that Bloomberg Philanthropies decided to partner with it when we set out to help solve one of the most critical threats to our oceans, and that is overfishing. More than ever the oceans are a source of income and food for people around the world so when ocean life is threatened human life is threatened and we can’t let that happen.
Susan Rockefeller and Oceana Board member Ted Danson opened the program, welcoming guests and thanking them for supporting Oceana. “The oceans of the world are threatened on a daily basis” remarked Danson. “The world’s population is expanding every day and our ability to feed people is becoming critical. The work that Oceana is doing to make sure our oceans can be an abundant and sustainable source of food is important, so thank you Mr. Bloomberg for your incredible generosity.”
To close the evening, guests were treated to a live musical performance by pianist Kim Oler who was joined by Mary Steenburgen playing an accordion and singing a love song to her husband. “Alas, I have no songs about fish” joked Steenburgen. “But my hero is my husband, Ted Danson. When I wrote this song for him it was kind of a hard thing to do because he is not an ordinary person so I couldn’t just write an ordinary song.”