Press Advisory

Washington, D.C. — Please join Azul, the Center for American Progress, and Urban Ocean Lab for an online symposium on the rising tide of justice and equity in ocean policy.

The need to pursue environmental justice does not end at the water’s edge. Access to ocean resources and influence in shaping ocean policy have long been inequitable across racial, economic, and generational lines because of legacies of racism, colonialism, and industrialization.

At the same time, historically marginalized communities in coastal communities are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, including rising sea levels and intensifying storms, as well as by pollution, overfishing, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and coastal gentrification.

Across the United States, however, ocean justice communities are shifting that narrative and building and exerting real power in ocean and climate decision-making, policy development, and management.

This event will prioritize the experiences and voices of historically marginalized communities in ocean conservation discussions. We ask that all attendees be respectful of and intentional about the focus of the symposium.

This event is supported by Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Defense Initiative, and Green 2.0.


12:00 p.m. ET

Catering provided.

12:30 p.m. ET
Welcoming remarks

Angelo Villagomez, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

12:35 p.m. ET
Freedom of Association at Sea: Advancing Justice in the Distant-Water Fishing Industry

Johanna Lee, Staff Attorney, Global Labor Justice

1:15 p.m. ET 
Keynote introduction

Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš, Founder and Executive Director, Azul

1:20 p.m. ET
Keynote: Federal ocean leadership

Keynote speaker to be announced soon!

1:45 p.m. ET
Redefining Conservation Success: A New Wave of Ocean Climate Leadership

Angelo Villagomez, Center for American Progress

Peter Edwards, Officer, Conservation Science, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Olivia Lopez, Senior Specialist, Climate Policy, Ocean Conservancy
Charitie Ropati, education and environmental activist, researcher at Columbia University

2:45 p.m. ET
Talking Ocean Policy: What Makes It Just?

Marquise Stillwell, Co-Founder, Urban Ocean Lab

Carlos Ochoa, Ocean Program Manager, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
Colette Pichon Battle, Vision and Initiatives Partner, Taproot Earth
Helen Smith, Policy Advocate, Ocean Equity Collective; Creation Justice Ministries

3:45 p.m. ET
Ocean Joy: Justice in Action

Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš, Azul

Anupa Asokan, Senior Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council
Eddie Gonzalez, Director of Partnerships and Grants, National Park Service Chesapeake Office
GiGi Lucas, Founder and Executive Director, SurfearNEGRA
Dr. Nevada Winrow, Co-Founder, Black Girls Dive Foundation


Wednesday, June 7, 2023
12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET


You must RSVP at this link to watch the event online.

If you have questions for our panel, please submit them on Twitter using the hashtag #CAPEvents or via email at [email protected].

For more information, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

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