On Saturday, August 22, supporters tuned in for the first ever virtual SeaChange Summer Party to benefit Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation organization.
The annual event, in its 13th year, is usually hosted in Laguna Beach, California, and went virtual this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Actors, activists, and Oceana Board of Directors members Ted Danson and Sam Waterston hosted the evening, which featured a special address from Leonardo DiCaprio and a musical performance by Sting of The Police's 1980 hit song “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.” Miranda Cosgrove, Alexandra Cousteau, Angela Kinsey, Billy Magnussen, Austin Nichols, Oscar Nunez, Christina Ochoa, Sally Pressman, Sam Trammell, and Kate Walsh were also featured.
This year’s benefit focused on how protecting the world’s oceans and restoring abundance benefits both people and the planet.
“Our oceans sustain life. In times like these it’s worth dwelling on the power in that,” Waterston told attendees. “No matter how dire the situation may seem, we have to fight for our oceans because we have to win. And that’s just what Oceana is doing.”
Oceana won multiple policy victories since last year’s SeaChange event, and Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless shared details on this progress with attendees. “I’m happy to report that despite the pandemic, economic shut down, and all the tumult of this moment, together with our allies, we have again delivered a set of policy outcomes that are protecting and restoring an abundant ocean,” Sharpless said. “Wanting to save the ocean is good. But actually saving it is what really matters. All of you know the difference between good intentions and results. It’s these results that are the SeaChange legacy that we together share.”
SeaChange 2020 was chaired by Elizabeth Wahler and vice-chaired by Jeff Blasingame.
“A healthy ocean is every child’s rightful inheritance,” Wahler said. “There is no organization better positioned than Oceana to work across governments, communities, and science to scale global results.”
The SeaChange online auction included a wide array of exclusive items including a BMW X3 Hybrid SUV, Lindblad Alaska Expedition, travel getaways including to Montage Healdsburg, Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Rosewood Miramar Beach, Pendry West Hollywood, and Park Hyatt Chicago, and luxury items from South Coast Plaza, Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Chopard.
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, Dropps, Harriett E. Pfleger Foundation, Jena King, Jean and Tim Weiss, Crevier Family Foundation, Tricia and Michael Berns, Laurie and Steve Duncan, Marisla Foundation, Elizabeth Wahler, and Valaree Wahler.
For a full list of underwriters and partners, host committee members, auction items, and more information about SeaChange click here.