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First and only national organization, Ocean Champions, focuses solely on our oceans and coastlines in politics

On May 26, journalist, adventurer and advocate, Ashlan Gorse Cousteau, moderated a panel discussion for Environmental Media Association in Los Angeles to discuss the importance of protecting our oceans and coastlines in politics.

From left to right: David Wilmont, Ocean Champions; Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation; Rep Salud Carbajal; Ashlan Cousteau; Vipe Desai, Ocean Champion.

From left to right: David Wilmot, Ocean Champions; Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation; Rep Salud Carbajal; Ashlan Cousteau; Vipe Desai, Ocean Champion. (Photo Credit: Dipan Desai)

Ashlan and her husband Philippe Cousteau recently embarked on a three-week expedition in the Marshall Islands, where the U.S. Military had tested 62 nuclear bombs during the Cold War, essentially vaporizing anything living.

“Philippe and I swam in the most beautiful coral I have ever seen. Without the pressure of man, nature can come back.”

The panel was led by David Wilmot, Ph.D., the co-founder and President of Ocean Champions, a 501(c)(4) organization, the first national non-profit of its kind focusing solely on oceans and wildlife. Ocean Champions’ political muscle is impressive, helping pass legislation to reduce toxic algae blooms and hypoxia; passed bills to establish estuary conservation; helped pass the “Trash Free Seas Act”; and blocked anti-conservation attacks in Washington.

From left to right: David Wilmont, Ocean Champions; Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation; Rep Salud Carbajal; Ashlan Cousteau.

From left to right: David Wilmot, Ocean Champions; Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation; Rep Salud Carbajal; Ashlan Cousteau. (Photo Credit: Dipan Desai)

Joining David was Angela Howe, Legal Director of grassroots activist group, Surfrider Foundation and Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County Supervisor, whom is currently running for congress in District 24. Rep Carbajal has recently been endorsed by Ocean Champions.

Ashlan led the panel through the discussion on the importance of politics in our ocean protection, differences between politics v.s. policies, improvements that can be made in politics and how people can get more involved. Most importantly, the discussion highlighted the success of supporting our voted “Ocean Champions” in Washington.

“Ocean Champions identifies representatives in Washington who are leaders in Congress, such as Representative Carbajal, for policies that protect our oceans and coastlines,” said David Wilmot. “Strong policy change is needed to achieve solutions and requires leadership from our elected officials.

Watch the video below to view the Ocean Champion’s panel discussion.

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