At the intersection of marine conservation and social, economic, environmental and food justice

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Youth Activists Hooking Up with Fishermen on Policy

This post comes to us from Brett Tolley, NAMA's fishing community organizer.

It’s rare that I get to use the words ‘inspirational’ and ‘New England fisheries policy’ in the same sentence, but at last month's New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) meeting I was inspired when student food activists from Slow Food UNH and the Slow Food Youth Network testified in support of community based fishermen. 

In a foul policy arena dominated by full-time lobbyists, where actual fishermen 
participation is made nearly impossible by the exclusive decision-process, the new and young voices at the mike were beyond refreshing. 

Clockwise from top left: Student activists Amanda Parks, Molly McGovern, and Spencer Montgomery at the June NEFMC meeting.

As one fisherman who was there put it, “These young folks, and really this goes for all people who care about where their food is coming from, deserve to have their voices heard and weigh-in on fisheries policy. After all, we are talking about a public resource. We need the public to pay attention and we need support now more than ever.” 

Youth activists are paying more attention. As part of a broader youth-led campaign to raise more awareness between fisheries and the food system, prior to June’s Council meeting student leaders, Spencer Montgomery, Amanda Parks, and Molly McGovern listened to the recordings of fishermen’s testimony from a policy meeting in April. (Audio starts at 31 mins.)

What they heard was a diverse group of fishermen from different communities and gear types speaking out about the need to protect the inshore ecosystem and the need to fix a policy system that shifts fisheries access to the businesses who are most heavily capitalized. 

As Slow Youth USA network leader Spencer Montgomery put it, “After hearing the fisherman’s testimony is wasn’t hard to make the connection between our values around a good, clean, and fair food system and the values expressed by the fishermen -- ensuring healthy fish stocks for future generations, ensuring affordable access to independent family fishermen, and ensuring that access is not concentrated into the hands of a select few.” 

At June’s policy meeting the students testified (Audio from the testimony starts at about 1:55:00) to policy makers that status quo policy is hurting the ecosystem and eliminating future opportunity for community based fishermen. Predictably, these new voices in the policy realm didn’t come without a reaction from those opposed to our message of a more diverse fleet (Amendment 18). 

The lobbyists in the room who were on the other side of the issue were anxious and uneasy. The students were unfazed and focused, and despite a lobbyist jeering during their testimonies, the youth activists stayed on point. Later I heard another lobbyists again say that these students didn’t belong, that they are not stakeholders and therefore should not be able to weigh in on policy. 

The truth is, of course, that fisheries are a public resource and managed for the greatest benefit of the public. It is the public’s right and duty to pay attention and weigh in when compelled. The reaction of folks who oppose our policy stance is a sign that we’re making headway. And headway on fisheries policy coming from young people is especially noteworthy. 

The vital importance of young people participating in policy spans 
beyond the fisheries world. Last month I had the unique privilege to sit down with community organizers from the Brazil-based Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) who advocate for the human right to water and land. 

Among the many inspirational exchanges, this one really stuck in my head. In 
describing what helps MAB be effective, one of the organizers said:

“Youth. A movement without the leadership and participation of young people is not really a movement.”

This made me pause and think about the fisheries and the broader movement to sustain the health of the marine ecosystem, fishing communities, and our seafood system. How well are we engaging young people? 

When you ask about young people in fishing communities the joke is that if you’re under 50 than you are likely on the younger end of the age range. Reality is that in New England the average age of working fishermen is nearly retirement age. 

Now more than ever it is critical that we be thinking about the next generation and not only what opportunities are we creating to ensure that fisheries are managed with the next generation in mind, but what participation outlets are there in place for young people to engage in policy. At NAMA we’re doing our part by cultivating relationships will outstanding youth-led groups like Slow Youth, the Real Food Challenge, and others. 

At June’s meeting we certainly did not move mountains, but we did made significant progress. And in many ways we are just starting to tap into a new wave of support that once harnessed and channeled, will not only move mountains but be the movement that will change the future of fisheries. And that inspires me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Drawing Inspiration From Big Sky Country - RevolOceanary Road Diary 7/22/14

This post comes to us from Niaz Dorry, NAMA's coordinating director, who is on the road - actually the train - for the next couple of weeks. These are her RevolOceanary Road Diaries.

We just crossed into Montana, and with that came a bit of Déjà vu. The train is going parallel to Route 2, also known as the Lewis and Clarke Trail. I drove the whole length of Route 2 in 1997 when heading to the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering on the Fort Belknap
Watching Rte 2 in Montana from my window
in an area known as the Little Rockies. The Gatherings were an annual event organized by the Indigenous Environmental Network. Each year, they served as a pilgrimage for me. Planning for an actually hitting the road for an IEN gathering had become a spiritual event. These gathering were almost always outside and I'd get there way before the rest of the folks, helping to set up  the camp and help prepare the grounds. I often worked to set up the kitchen and would spend the rest of the time of the Gathering working in the kitchen. Feeding everyone was my way of getting to know the faces of all those gathered there, and working with other volunteers in the kitchen exposed me to stories of elders and young ones, and traditions that I would never have heard about otherwise.

So it makes sense to be here in Montana and be talking about food systems and related stories. 

I had planned to write about Dena Hoff, a tireless farmer and food sovereignty advocate. I've gotten to know Dena over the past few years as we both serve on the board of the National Family Farm Coalition. She's also the north American coordinator for La Via Campesina, the movement of the peasants. Her commitment to protecting our food, ensuring food access globally is moving. But then I remembered that Andrianna Natsoulas had already written the piece I would want to write for her book Food Voices. Andrianna and I have a long history together. We met back in the mid-90s when she was hired to work on the 1996 reauthorization of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Senator Stevens' name was added later). I had already begun doing oceans work at Greenpeace and that was my first foray into the MSA reauthorization. Many years later, Andrianna joined the NAMA team when I was hired as the new director and helped shape what is now our work. For that, we thank her. 

Seremos Kamuturaki, Ugandan fisheries advocate, speaks with National Family Farm Coalition
Vice President, Dena Hoff,at the Community Food Security Coalition in Des Moines last October 2010.
Photo: Joe Hennage

I asked Andrianna for permission, and she was kind enough to grant it. So without further ado, here's the story of Dena Hoff as told by Andrianna:

Dena Hoff, Farmer
Glendive, Montana

Dena grows beans, corn, tomatoes and an array of produce, while also raising lambs, chickens and pigs. She and her husband have been farming in Glendive, Montana since 1981.

Food sovereignty is something I never named. It is something I grew up with and thought that is the way life should be. My grandparents came from eastern North Dakota. We always ate out of Grandma’s organic garden. It was always my intention to feed ourselves as much as possible, the way my Grandma fed us. She is the one who taught me about food preparation, canning, soap making and about being self-sufficient.

All I wanted to be was a farmer. While raising my children, we had at least one garden, and we hunted and fished. I taught my kids and they are pretty self-sufficient. I thought most people lived the way I did from their gardens and the land. And then I found that even my farm neighbours weren’t living that way. The farm agencies told them it was not efficient to grow their own food, milk a cow and it was much better to buy it at the grocery store. That was in the late 70’s and I started to question the whole system.

Now you read reports that nutritionally, food is much poorer today than it used to be. We don’t pay attention to healthy soil, and then we don’t have rich soil full of nutrients. Soil is becoming a medium to hold plants upright, and not a living entity in its own right. If we are looking for the earth to feed us, then we need to take care of it.
Unfortunately, it takes dead bodies and people dying from e coli and listeria to see that the food supply is not as safe as they think it is. Because of convenience, people have given up their responsibility for a safe and nutritious food supply. Now that food nutrition deficiencies, like obesity and diabetes, are an epidemic in this country, people are beginning to pay attention. But the infrastructure is gone, and so are the people – the family farmers and fishermen. The corporate food system has destroyed the small infrastructure. They pay off Congress to pass rules in the guise of food safety, but it is really about getting rid of competition- small producers and small processors.

I teach other generations that they can grow food and take care of the land and learn growing methods and animal husbandry. We teach people on our farm. People are coming from the town to learn and even children from neighbouring farms. We have a farm to table organization, farm to school project and community kitchen. We are also starting a culinary school. 
Mostly, I want people to know that the policies we have in this country are keeping people from making a living. Under the corporate dominated political system, people have to be willing to get involved at the policy level if there is going to be better food for everyone and economically and environmentally sustainable rural communities. I want people in Montana to know that a lot of their same concerns and dreams and hopes are shared by people around the world. I want people to have a focus that goes from local to global and realize that everything is connected. People need to change their own diets and reform will work its way up the political chain and hopefully generations after me things will be better. If we all give up hoping that things are going to be better then things are never going to get better. We have to believe that by standing in solidarity around the world, it can happen. But Americans want instant gratification and we want it easy. That has to change.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gulf of Vermont; Revol-Oceanary Road Diary 7/19/14

This trip wasn’t supposed to have a stop in Vermont, but I thank Food Solutions New England for changing things up. Although at first I was perturbed about what appeared to be complication and disruption of plans it all ended up being exactly how this trip should have started.

Vermont's role in our fisheries work is more significant than you might think for a landlocked state (if you don't count Lake Champlain). Fletcher Allen Health Care was the first hospital to work with us on taking on the challenge of incorporating local seafood into their menu. Diane Imrie, director of nutrition services at FAHC made it clear that following seafood certifications such as the MSC and the red/yellow/green lists were a good start, but they didn't go far enough. FAHC needed to go deeper. 

We've been working with FAHC since 2010 through our friends at Health Care Without Harm. And ironically, my friend Paul Bogart is the chief program officer for HCWH, and lives down the road from Putney with his wife Judy Robinson and their family. Paul & Judy are long time activists, and as you'll see from this blog, have played an important role in my work and life. 

I’ve known Paul for 25 years. We first met in the smoking room of the Greenpeace office in Washington, DC. Yes, such a place existed and Greenpeace activists smoked. And probably some still do. Imagine a smoked filled room where passionate activists had heated discussions, told long tales from long stretches on the road or on Greenpeace ships, discussed campaign strategies, and even made some pretty important decisions. The non-smokers who were coming to the space for its intended purpose – to use the kitchen – were often justifiably pissed at the smoke-filled environment.

Judy, Paul and Raphael (left) and the kids.
That’s where Paul and I met. At the time, Paul was the head of the Antarctic Campaign at Greenpeace a campaign veteran with many voyages to the “ice” to his credit. I was a greenhorn toxics campaigner who had just come off a three-month stint on a Greenpeace tour of the Great Lakes with the ship M/V Moby Dick and the bus The Terrapin. From there I’d started working with the community of East Liverpool, Ohio working on what was to become the watershed case of toxic waste disposal, particularly incineration. He went on to become the political director for Greenpeace US, and I moved on to manage the Toxics Campaign. Our friendship grew as we dove into complex issues together.

This is a much younger me... in the early 90s 
leading a WTI protest at the White House.
But the pivotal moment for me was in early 1994 when Paul asked me if I would consider switching campaigns to bring the community organizing strategies of the toxics and environmental justice work to ocean issues. After much hesitation and to both of our surprise I eventually agreed, but not until I saw that the ocean work was really about the same thing as the toxics work: global movement of capital putting communities and environmental at risk. I move to Gloucester, MA in 1994 sight unseen. Twenty years have gone by, and Paul and I have worked on various issues together and our friendship has grown deeper in the process.

Amongst the projects we worked on together was a stint at the Healthy Building Network, where he was the campaigns director. One of the HBN projects we collaborated on was Unity Homes, a modular home factory in rural Mississippi with a non-profit business model designed to bring affordable, well built, healthy and energy efficient homes to those who lost theirs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Unity Homes’ specific focus was on serving those who were marginalized by the housing, banking and the broader real estate world. In the aftermath of Katrina, those are the people who had to endure the toxic FEMA trailers. They are the dispensable ones.

Celebrating Unity Homes ribbon cutting in 2007, serving as the
headquarters of the Gulfport Community Land Trust.
As a side note, my dog Hailey is a Hurricane Katrina survivor who was picked up in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana in the aftermath. 

Unity Homes was a brilliant and moving project. But it could not weather the perfect economic storm of December 2007 when the housing market collapsed, the recession started, and the credit market collapsed  just as the factory had been completed . On top of it all, the likes of Bernie Madoff disasters made philanthropic money scarce. It was a tough time to start a non-profit, much less an innovative one like Unity Homes. I felt this crunch as this was the same time I heard NAMA was looking for a new director and took the helm of the organization, and realized first hand how hard it was to raise funds during such a time.

On the surface, Unity Homes may not have a direct impact on fisheries and marine conservation, but the building materials manufacturing, particularly the production of PVC plastics for various uses including the building trade, contributes to the toxic burden of the Gulf of Mexico and other bodies of water. Shifting that manufacturing process to a green one reduces the amount of persistent bio-accumulative toxins in the marine environment that end up there as a byproduct of manufacturing. This is why it’s so important that we look at non-fishing impacts on the marine environment.

Fast forward to today, Paul and I are once again working together this time marrying the work of Health Care Without Harm, where he serves as the Chief Program Officer, to our work of protecting the marine environment and the coastal fishing communities that depend on healthy marine ecosystems.

I met Judy first when I was working on a project to mark the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal Chemical disaster. I was tasked with planning a US tour for two Bhopal survivors to raise awareness about Dow Chemicals involvement in and dismissal of what happened in Bhopal. The survivors were in the US to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize, the Oscar of the environmental community.

Bhopal survivors Champa Devi Shukla (left) and Rashida Bee flank
fisherwoman and Gulf coast activist Diane Wilson in 2004.
At the time, Judy was at the Environmental Health Fund coordinating the Coming Clean Collaborative. Today, Coming Clean has become it’s own entity with Judy as its executive director. NAMA is a member of Coming Clean, and in fact our inspiration for convening the Fish Locally Collaborative in 2008 was Coming Clean’s structure and success. More on our collaboration and work of Coming Clean further down this blog.

As luck would have it, Paul & Judy are now married living in Vermont. So the FSNE meeting gave me a chance to start my train journey after spending some time with them. I spoke to Paul and Judy about how our missions, values and strategies merge. Then I headed to Albany to hop on the Lakeshore Limited Amtrak train heading to Chicago…. Only to find out a boulder had fallen on the tracks in Poughkeepsie grounding us for a number of hours. As of this writing I’m still not sure if I will make my Portland bound train connection in Chicago. We’ll find out together!

In the meanwhile, onto the conversation with Paul & Judy.

What’s Fish Got to do With Healthcare?

I asked Paul about why the fisheries work is relevant to their work with the healthcare sector. Here’s Paul’s response:

“Our work is focused on lessening the environmental burden of the healthcare sector. Healthcare’s responsibility is increasing shifting from treating chronic disease to treating population health and you can’t have population health without community, environment and economic health. NAMA’s work is part of the strategy to shift this burden with positive drivers on both sides:

o   HCWH drives the issues we are trying to solve through the healthcare market’s impact on the ecosystem
o   NAMA’s work contributes to HCWH’s work by addressing population health

A Different Life Cycle

I asked Judy the same question, and she said:

“Coming Clean picks up the problem where it is along the lifecycle of industrial chemicals and dirty energy, and unites communities and other interest groups along that lifecycle.

At one of Coming Clean’s general meetings a delegation of a dozen Native Alaskans, including the major of Savoonga, joined other members of Coming Clean in Washington DC.  A special event was arranged for the delegation to present data from a recent marine monitoring study to EPA and other agency officials.  The indigenous group brought salmon to share, a cultural offering of something so important to their lives and survival. It was also the subject of a study they were announcing, which had found PCB levels in the fish so high it qualified as hazardous waste. Isolated and without access to grocery stores or other sources of food that we take for granted, the fish they caught, smoked and brought to DC was truly the source of life and livelihood for the rest of the year. And they are very respectful of their relationship with the salmon because of it. They had to bring their fish all the way to DC to show the government agencies that the They shared cultural dance and presented the study findings about the toxicity in the fish. Then the meeting was over and the fish was offered as a cultural gift to the group. It was a very complicated relationship between everyone in the room and the fish now. Perhaps some people were at first excited to have freshly caught and smoked wild Alaskan salmon: but now they all knew the fish had high levels of PCBs.

This brings home that as with the fish, we’re all in this lifecycle together. The fish and the people may as well be the same thing because that’s the dependency. That’s how interconnected the relationship.”

It’s a Small World After All

In the middle of visit, one of their friends, Raphael, stopped by. All I knew about Raphael till then was that he worked in architecture and the design/build environment. He told me they work on energy efficient houses that are more affordable for most of the population, are built offsite and assembled onsite.
I instinctively turned to Paul and yelled “Unity Homes!” only to find out that Raphael’s work is in fact Unity Homes. The Unity Homes Paul and I worked on when we were both at the Healthy Building Network is now Unity Homes where Raphael works. A while ago, the owners of the architectural firm Raphael works for reached out to Paul asking to buy the Unity Homes domain not knowing about their relationship. A small world, indeed.

Paul said the value of Unity Homes was in the concept not in the name, so it wasn’t a hard decision.

Like the original Unity Homes, the New England one uses smart design, energy conservation, offsite fabrication and onsite installation. But unlike the original one it targets the population that is a little higher on the economic food chain.

Paul explains that the significance of the original concept was the reason behind using the word “unity” as the name of the non-profit company. “The unity came from that there were those in the Gulf of Mexico and the Delta who were providing down payment assistance, others offering credit counseling, and some developing job programs around housing but no one was building and selling housing using a non-profit model that is serving specifically the communities that sought out and utilized these services. We wanted to complete the housing chain.”

It was a bit of a surprise to find out the connection between Vermont and the Gulf of Mexico, and how one project unified these two completely different communities.

As I was leaving, I asked Judy about the possibility of partnering with Coming Clean to work on making sure non-fishing issues such as the impact of persistent pollutants, mining, oil, gas and chemical industries are addressed in the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. We decided we needed to connect our policy leaders and organizers in our respective collaboratives – Coming Clean and Fish Locally – so we can build a bottom-up, non-violent force to be reckoned with that holds these industries accountable when it comes to their impact on the marine environment and commercial fisheries.

Being with Paul and Judy reminded me of how important our relationships are, how connected all of our work is, and how important it is to take the Revol-Oceanary Road. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hitting the Revol-Oceanary Road

This post comes to us from Niaz Dorry, NAMA's coordinating director. 

This week I leave for a three-week train trip across the US, heading first to the Pacific Northwest, then down the coast to the Bay Area, and home through the Midwest.

Mapping it out 

It's a big trip, and I wanted to bring you all along, so I'll be blogging along the way - let's call it the Revol-Oceanary* Road Diaries. But unlike the novel Revolutionary Road, this road will focus on the positive changes we're creating toward a future when fisheries are environmentally, socially, and economically just, and feed into equally just food systems.

This trip was inspired by an invitation to speak at the annual Food Justice Dinner of the Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) in Seattle on July 26th. CAGJ and NAMA are connected through the National Family Farm Coalition, of which we are both members.

I'll be speaking at the Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere dinner on 7/26

CAGJ is a grassroots, community-based organization working to strengthen local economies everywhere. Strengthening local economies while protecting human rights and addressing environmental justice and inequalities are Revol-Oceanary, so accepting the invitation was a no-brainer. The dinner also set the tone for other stops and conversations along the way.

As I go, I’ll share stories about those we know whose work has touched us and/or is closely connected to the work we do at NAMA. It just happens that many of those featured in the upcoming stories are all dear friends and/or long-time colleagues. 

I feel extremely lucky to have known some of them for over 20 years, and as you read about them I hope you will see why. Here is a sampling of who you’ll meet if you decide to join us on the Revol-Oceanary Road: 

Vermont – You’ll be introduced to Paul Bogart and Judy Robinson. Judy is the Executive Director of Coming Clean and Paul is the Chief Program Officer at Health Care Without Harm (HCWH). NAMA is a member of Coming Clean,  a collaborative of environmental health and justice experts working to reform the chemical and energy industries so they are no longer a source of harm. Coming Clean’s work has led to groundbreaking collaboration and organizing in communities that are in the crosshairs of the “chemical barrage [that] has been hurled against the fabric of life” Rachel Carson talked about in 1962. Previously, Judy served as Associate Director of the Environmental Health Fund – where Coming Clean was spawned, regional director of a statewide environmental advocacy group focused on toxics and corporate accountability campaigns. I'll tell you what makes Coming Clean's work critical to the fisheries world. 

We've been working with Paul and the HCWH team on shifting the seafood purchasing policies of the healthcare institutions starting with a pilot in New England that we launched in 2011. We’ll hear about HCWH’s work, the significance of the fisheries work for them and their networks, and what the future looks like for the healthcare sector’s desire to truly first do no harm. Paul also happens to be the person responsible for me working on fisheries issues, but you’ll have to read my next post to find out about that connection. 

Minnesota – If you don’t already know Winona LaDuke you’ll get to know her
Winona LaDuke; image from the Island Institute
as the train chugs along just southwest of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. Amongst her many accomplishments is the founding of the
White Earth Land Recovery Project that works to facilitate the recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community development, 
and strengthening their spiritual and cultural heritage. 
I’ll also tell you about the Red Lake fishery. This past November Winona paid me a visit in Gloucester. We visited Neptune Harvest together as she wanted to learn as much as she could to make sure their fishery on Red Lake was using the entire animals after they’ve given their sacred lives.  

Montana – A lot of people don’t know that NAMA is part of La Via Campesina, the international movement of the peasants. While traveling through Montana, you’ll meet Dena Hoff the North America coordinator for La Via Campesina. Dena is a farmer and activist who raises sheep, cattle, alfalfa, and corn in eastern Montana with her husband since 1979. She and I serve on the executive committee of the National Family Farm Coalition’s board of directors. She is also the former chair of the Northern Plans Resource Council
Oregon – You’ll meet a whole bunch of people in Oregon including the great
The Overlook Mosaic in Port Orford Bay
group of fishermen and community advocates of Port Orford; Kevin Scribner who works endlessly to make our footprints salmon-safe; and, Barbara Dudley, currently an adjunct professor at Portland State. Her career has included President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild; Executive Director of Unitarian Universalist charitable foundation, Veatch; Executive Director of Greenpeace USA; and later Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns of the national AFL‑CIO. As you might guess, I met Barbara when she began her role at Greenpeace. Over the years, she’s been a source of inspiration, and a major spring of encouragement and support.
Chicago – In addition to learning about Asian Carp, I’ll introduce you to Margie Kelly and Joe Thornton both of whom I met when I began working for Greenpeace many many moons ago. They’ve also been a source of inspiration, support, and wisdom all these years. As a greenhorn toxics campaigner, Joe & Margie were amongst those whose work was informing how we organized. 
Margie is currently the Media Relations Manager for the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She previously served as the Communications Manager at Healthy Child, Healthy WorldCommunications Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, SAFER, a multi-state coalition of environmental health organizations, and Director of Communications for the Center for Reproductive Rights. 
Joe’s work on the human health impacts of burning toxic waste led to a revolutionary decision by an Ohio court that persistent bio-accumulative toxins can in fact cause human health issues. We all knew this already since wildlife had been the first victims of these chemicals. Since the Greenpeace days, Joe career in science has reached amazing peaks including becoming a of the U.S. Presidential Science Award for his work on evolution from, wait for it… President Bush of all people.
California – Visit to California won’t be complete without the Revol-Oceanary Community Supported Fishery programs that have sprang up from Bay Area south. Local Catch Monterey Bay, Fair Share CSF, SirenSea, Community Seafood, SLO Fresh Catch are the west coast pioneers of the CSF concept delivering local catch as far north as Sacramento and south as Manhattan Beach. In addition, fishing community advocates such as Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association and others are leading the national effort on shifting fisheries policies. I’ll introduce you to Zeke Grader, PCFFA’s executive director when I’m there. We’ll also visit with food sovereignty advocates including Movement Strategy Center’s Fellow Navina Khanna, Hank Herrera of Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy and New Hope Farms, Eric Holt-Giménez of Food First and Institute for Food and Development Policy.
Ohio – When someone asks me where I grew up, I usually say Ohio. The truth is I’ve never lived in Ohio, but it is where I came of age as an activist. As a Greenpeace toxics campaigner I had the privilege of working with the community of East Liverpool to fight WTI, the world’s largest toxic waste incinerator on the banks of the Ohio River. 
I lived across the river in Chester, West Virginia. I watched the community struggle to do what they knew was right in the face of community backlash, political backhandedness, and corporate control of the regulatory system. That time changed me as an activist and made me understand what it really means to do whatever it takes.
These are just a sampling of stories and people you’ll hear about during this trip. While I’m traveling, others from our team and networks will be traveling to other points and introducing you to others whose work meets ours at the intersection of marine conservation and social, environmental and economic justice.
See you on the Revol-Oceanary Road!

*Revol-Oceanary is a term that Aaron Longton, a commercial fisherman from Port Orford, Oregon, came up with at the end of the first Community Supported Fishery Summit in 2012. Thank you for the inspiration, Aaron.