Supporters gathered in Laguna Beach last week to support Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation organization.
This year’s party was emceed by Oceana Board of Directors Vice-Chair Ted Danson and Oceana Senior Advisor Alexandra Cousteau and included an intimate performance by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne and his band.
More than 400 guests gathered at an exclusive hilltop estate in Laguna Beach, overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean to celebrate the world’s oceans. More than $1.5 million was raised to benefit Oceana and local ocean conservation efforts.
This year’s benefit focused on the plague of ocean plastic pollution, addressing the enormous problem of single-use plastic pollution. Guests were reminded that 90 percent of all the plastic ever made has not been recycled, and that plastic production is expected to quadruple by 2050.
“In too many places, I no longer recognize the seas of my youth when I dive because there is so much plastic,” said Alexandra Cousteau. “I’ve seen things that my grandfather would consider a nightmare.”
SeaChange was co-chaired by Oceana Board Chair Valarie Van Cleave and Elizabeth Wahler and vice-chaired by Jeff Blasingame.
“I, like so many of us in this community, have seen first-hand the impacts of plastic on our beaches, coasts, and oceans,” said Elizabeth Wahler. “We clearly need to do something about this now.”
And there is reason for hope. “Oceana will win national laws mandating major reductions in throw away plastics,” said Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless. “We’ll get this done in the next five years.” Oceana has already helped secure policy victories to protect the oceans against plastic in Peru, Belize and Europe.
The program concluded with a performance from Jackson Browne and his band who sang songs including “Doctor My Eyes”, “Somebody’s Baby”, and “Running on Empty.”
The SeaChange silent and live auctions included a wide array of exclusive items including a BMW 745e Luxury Hybrid car, a Mikimoto pearl and diamond necklace, and an unforgettable experience with Brunello Cucinelli. Amazing yacht vacations from Burgess-Hemisphere, Aqua expeditions, Lindblad and stunning hotel stays with Soneva Fushi and Intercontinental Hayman Island. Custom suits from Canali, David August and Mark Pomerantz, jewelry from Chopard, Julia Post, K. Brunini, Nan Fusco and Zofia Day, gorgeous luxury items from Baccarat, Diptyque, Giorgio Armani, Lanvin, Liuli, Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Neiman Marcus-Fashion Island, Oscar De La Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Roger Vivier, Salvatore Ferragamo, South Coast Plaza, TOD’S, and Versace. Amazing trips and getaways from Stafford Hotel, Surf and Sand Resort, The Private Suite, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Cotton House Hotel, Baker’s Cay Resort, Baja Discovery, Viceroy Bali Hotel, Solaz Cabo, 1 Hotels, The Lodge at Blue Sky, an Auberge Resort, Rosewood-Las Ventanas al Paraiso and Excel Air, among others.
The SeaChange Summer Party is made possible by the generous support of various distinguished local and international businesses and philanthropists. Special thanks to BMW and the Southern California BMW Centers, media sponsor Coast Magazine, liquor sponsors Nolet Spirits, Ketel One, and Mount Gay Rum. SeaChange partners and underwriters include Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation, Jean and Tim Weiss, Tricia and Michael Berns, Marisla Foundation, Elizabeth Wahler, Valaree Wahler, South Coast Plaza, the Cahill family, James Sandler, Jeff Blasingame, Commerce Printing, Signature Party Rentals, PPS Parking, Brite Ideas. Special thank you to Keith Addis and Keri Selig.