OC’S OCEANA CELEB-RATION RAISES $1.8 million for ocean conservation By James Reed Photos by Ryan Miller, Tom Vickers, Mariuz Jeglinskiat, Kevin Warn, and John Watson
The 14th annual Oceana SeaChange Summer Party was held in Laguna Beach to celebrate the organization’s 20-year anniversary, to raise funds in support of its ongoing ocean conservation campaigns, and to honor Academy Award-winning actor and activist Laura Dern. Nearly 300 guests gathered at the exclusive Cahill estate, helping to raise more than $1.8 million to benefit the international ocean conservation organization founded in 2001. The SeaChange event was held just three weeks after at least 25,000 gallons of oil spilled into the ocean off of Southern California, polluting popular beaches and closing fisheries. The spill was top-of-mind for many guests and speakers, including Event Chair and Oceana board member Elizabeth Wahler. “Twenty years ago, we set out to change the way that we all treat the world’s oceans. It sounded far-reaching at the time, and yet here we are, and we’re doing it,” Ted Danson told attendees. The charming and affable actor, activist, and longtime Oceana board member hosted the event, while his wife Mary Steenburgen introduced event honoree, Laura Dern. “When I get afraid for our future with the overwhelming worries of climate change, you know what I do? I remember what the ocean can do for us. If we just give it a little bit of help,” said Dern.