Special Guests

2017 Ocean Champions: Anne Earhart, Herbert M. Bedolfe, III and the Marisla Foundation

2017 Special Guests

Sam Waterston

As a member of Oceana's board of directors, Waterston brings to the organization a wealth of talent and resources in support of Oceana's programming and mission.

"I've loved the ocean all my life," explained Waterston. "As a New Englander, I've seen the nasty effects of fisheries collapses on the life of seaside towns. Scientists now warn us that unless we do something, the world is on a path to global fishery collapses by mid-century, a calamity of mind-boggling proportions we can still avert. The time to act is now, which is why I'm very happy to be working with an organization as effective as Oceana."

Waterston was born in 1940 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his father was a linguist and teacher and his mother was a painter. He attended preparatory schools Brooks and Groton before earning a scholarship to Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1962. Later that year, Waterston made his New York debut at the Phoenix Theater in “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad.”

Over the next four decades, Waterston's career goes on to include a plethora of film and television credits as well as repeated returns to the stage. His trophy case includes television awards such as the Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild and theater awards like the OBIE and Drama Desk. Other accolades include an Academy Award nomination for his role as journalist Sydney Schanberg in 1984's “The Killing Fields” and six Emmy Award nominations for his roles in “I'll Fly Away” and “Law & Order.”

"We are very grateful for Sam's help," noted Oceana's chief executive officer Andrew Sharpless. "He gets it. He has closely followed the drumbeat of scientific reports about the rapid depletion of life in our oceans. Everyone recognizes and trusts him. He will be a huge help for our campaigns to bring the world's oceans back from the brink of irreversible collapse."

 

Lily Tomlin

2016 Special Guests

Honoree

Seth MacFarlane

 

Seth MacFarlane possesses talents that encompass every aspect of the entertainment industry.  He has created some of the most popular content on television and film today while also expanding his career in the worlds of music, literature and philanthropy

At 25, MacFarlane became the youngest showrunner in television history when his animated series FAMILY GUY aired on FOX. Now in its 14th season, FAMILY GUY has garnered MacFarlane Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and Outstanding Music and Lyrics. In addition to FAMILY GUY, MacFarlane serves as co-creator, executive producer and voice actor on AMERICAN DAD! He also executive produced the 21st century version of COSMOS: A SPACE TIME ODYSSEY that premiered on ten US networks, simultaneously across FOX and National Geographic platforms, making it the largest television premiere event of all time. The series has gone on to receive a Peabody Award, 2 Critics Choice Television Awards, nominations for a Television Critics Association Award and 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. MacFarlane is also an executive producer on Starz’ comedy, BLUNT TALK, starring Patrick Stewart and written by Jonathan Ames. The show recently wrapped its first season and was already greenlit for a second season. Back on the animation front, MacFarlane is executive producing Fox’s new comedy, BORDERTOWN. Starring Hank Azaria, the series premiered January 3rd, 2016.   

MacFarlane made his feature film directorial debut in 2012 with the highest-grossing original R-rated film of all time, Ted.  This buddy comedy starred Mark Wahlberg and MacFarlane as the voice of the lovable foul-mouthed teddy bear.  The film made over $545 million worldwide and was also co-written and produced by MacFarlane. Fresh off the success of Ted, MacFarlane hosted the 85th Academy Awards in 2013 and was also nominated for the film that same year. He was nominated for ‘Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song’ for ‘Everybody Needs a Best Friend.’ In May 2014, Universal released MacFarlane's western-comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in an ensemble cast that included Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried and Neil Patrick Harris. The highly anticipated sequel, Ted 2, was released on June 26, 2015. Next up for MacFarlane is Illumination Entertainment’s animated musical family comedy, Sing, in which MacFarlane voices Mike, a small mouse with a big Sinatra-esqure voice and an arrogant attitude. The film will be directed by Garth Jennings and hits theaters December 21, 2016.

MacFarlane’s debut album “Music is Better Than Words,” debuted at #1 on the iTunes jazz charts in 2011 and went on to receive four Grammy nominations, including ‘Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.’ Released by Universal Republic, the album is a celebration of the classic, sophisticated sound of the lush swing orchestras of the ‘40s and ‘50s with MacFarlane singing some of the hidden gems of that era. Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles collaborate with MacFarlane on two duets on the album. In 2014, MacFarlane released his first-ever Christmas album, “Holiday for Swing,” that debuted at #1 on the iTunes holiday album charts. The album is composed of timeless holiday songs accompanied by a 52-piece orchestra. On his third and most recent album, “No One Ever Tells You,” MacFarlane showcases the unique arrangements and orchestral interpretations of the ‘50s and ‘60s and introduces listeners to ballads about love and loss unique to the time. The album quickly rose to No. 1 on the jazz charts and garnered MacFarlane a Grammy nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album”.

He has performed with famed composer John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl, The John Wilson Orchestra for BBC proms and joined numerous celebrated symphonies including San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

MacFarlane created The Seth MacFarlane Foundation to focus his charitable efforts in 2009. As an advocate for science, he funded the Seth MacFarlane collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan archive at the Library of Congress. He also executive produced the climate change documentary inspired by the nonfiction bestseller by Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything. The film, which premiered this past fall, shot in nine countries over four years, bringing awareness to the insurmountable issue of global warming and the economic systems that facilitate it. Through his foundation, MacFarlane continues to be an avid supporter of science communication, cancer research, Reading Rainbow, The Human Rights Campaign, Oceana, the People of the American Way, Chrysalis and Perry’s Place. 

 

Special Guest

Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

 

 

With film credits including Jurassic ParkIndependence DayThe FlyThe Big ChillIgby Goes DownThe Grand Budapest Hotel and Le Weekend; theatre performances including The Pillowman, Speed the Plow and Domesticated; and television appearances including “Portlandia” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Will & Grace,” Jeff Goldblum now brings his jazz band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, with whom he performs regularly at Los Feliz's Rockwell Table and Stage.

Master of Ceremonies

Ted Danson

Special Guest

Sam Waterston

2015 Special Guests

Special Guest

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm’s nuanced portrayal of the high-powered, philandering advertising executive Don Draper on AMC’s award-winning drama series “Mad Men” has firmly established him as one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actors. He has earned numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award in 2008, Television Critics Association Award and a Critics’ Choice Television Award in 2011, as well as multiple Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations. “Mad Men” concluded its seventh and final season on May 17, 2015..

Hamm is currently in production filming 20th Century Fox’s KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES, opposite Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher. Directed by Greg Mottola (SUPERBAD), the film follows a suburban couple who become suspicious of their new hot neighbors. Hamm will next be seen on the big screen lending his voice to the upcoming Universal Pictures animated feature, THE MINIONS, alongside Sandra Bullock and Steve Coogan. The film will open July 10, 2015. Hamm’s previous film credits include Disney’s MILLION DOLLAR ARM, based on a script by Thomas McCarthy and directed by Craig Gillespie, FRIENDS WITH KIDS; written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt; BRIDESMAIDS; with Kristen Wiig,  Ben Affleck’s THE TOWN, Zack Snyder’s fantasy thriller SUCKER PUNCH, HOWL with James Franco, SHREK FOREVER AFTER, in which he voiced the character ‘Brogan,’ THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL with Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Westfeldt’s IRA & ABBY and KISSING JESSICA STEIN, and WE WERE SOLDIERS

Hamm’s appearances on the Emmy-winning comedy, “30 Rock,” from 2009-2012 earned him three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. He has also hosted “Saturday Night Live” three times, once in 2008 and twice in 2010 to critical acclaim. In addition to “Mad Men”, Hamm also appeared this year on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Hamm plays Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the senior prophet who fools four women into being held captive for fifteen years while they believe to have survived the apocalypse. His additional television credits include,  “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” a BBC miniseries in which he stars opposite Daniel Radcliffe and also executive produced, the Larry David film CLEAR HISTORY for HBO, IFC’s “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” "The Division,” "What About Brian," "The Unit," "Numb3rs" and "CSI Miami," as well as voice work on “Metalocalypse,” “The Simpsons,” “Bob’s Burgers” and more.  Hamm first came to audience’s attention in the NBC series “Providence.”  Signed for a cameo role, he impressed the producers so much that he ended up with an 18-episode run on the series. 

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Hamm received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Missouri-Columbia and currently resides in Los Angeles.

 

Honoring Our Ocean Champion

Dr. Enric Sala

Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence actively engaged in exploration, research, and communications to advance ocean conservation. His over 100 scientific publications are widely recognized and used for conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. Sala’s present goals are to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He conducts expeditions to some of the most remote places in the ocean, to carry out the first comprehensive scientific surveys of these pristine areas to obtain a baseline of what the ocean used to be like. He also produces documentary films and other media to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy ocean, and to inspire country leaders to create large marine reserves. Working with key conservation organizations, Enric was key in inspiring the creation of the Pacific Remote Atolls National Monument, USA; the Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park, Chile; and the Seamounts Marine Managed Area, Costa Rica.

Oceana Ambassador

January Jones

Jonuary Jones

January Jones is best known for her role in AMC’s critically acclaimed Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award- winning series, “Mad Men.” Set in the 1960s, January portrays “Betty Draper,” a young mother who was once married to the high-powered philandering advertising executive, ‘Don  Draper,’ played by Jon Hamm. Her performance in this role earned her a 2009 and 2010 Golden Globe nomination for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama” and a 2010 Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.”  The series recently wrapped its seventh and final season.  

January is also starring in FOX’s highly rated new comedy series, “The Last Man on Earth.” The series follows the adventures of Will Forte’s character, “Phil Miller” and the few individuals who survived a cataclysm that takes place on earth in 2022. The show was just picked up for a second season and will start production later this year.

Recently, January starred in “Good Kill” opposite Ethan Hawke. The film was directed by Andrew Niccol and premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals in 2014.

In 2013, she starred in “Sweetwater” opposite Ed Harris and Jason Isaacs. The film was directed by Logan and Noah Miller.

In 2011, January portrayed the Marvel superhero, Emma Frost, in “X-Men First Class.” That same year, she also starred opposite Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger in “Unknown.”

In 2009, January starred in “Pirate Radio” written and directed by Richard Curtis. The film is a period comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960's. Jones stars opposite Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Academy Award nominated Kenneth Branagh.  

In 2006, January starred in the critically acclaimed festival hit “Swedish Auto.” January portrays a woman torn between caring for her mother and leaving an abusive home. Also in 2006, she portrayed the real-life character “Carol Dawson” in Warner Brother’s “We Are Marshall.” The McG directed film stars Matthew Fox and Matthew McConaughey as the coaches of the Marshall College football team who died in a plane crash.

January is revered for her critically lauded performance in Sony Classic’s “Three Burials of Meliquiades Estrada” for director and actor Tommy Lee Jones. January portrays a young woman married to a border cop who accidentally murders an illegal immigrant. The film debuted to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.

Jones other credits include; Universal’s “American Wedding,” Sony’s “Anger  Management” alongside Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, Universal’s “Love Actually” with Colin Firth and Keira Knightly, MGM’s “Bandits” with Billy Bob Thorton, Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett for Director/Producer Barry Levinson and Mirmax’s “Full Frontal” directed by Steven Soderbergh.

January currently resides in Los Angeles.

2014 Special Guest

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is a longtime environmental advocate whose foundation donated $3 million to Oceana earlier this year, and made other impressive commitments in 2014 to protect the world’s oceans. DiCaprio gave an inspiring speech, in which he spoke about diving around the world and witnessing the destruction of the world’s oceans first hand. He then urged the audience to continue supporting the fight, saying that we have an obligation to protect our oceans and the many species that inhabit them. DiCaprio addressed a captivated audience:

“Allow me to get straight to the point. I truly believe that saving our oceans is the most important struggle of our time. As an avid diver I’ve been lucky enough to dive in places all over the world, including Australia, the Galapagos, Belize, and Thailand. I’ve witnessed first-hand not only the beauty that our oceans have to offer a diver, but everything they have to offer humanity.”

“We have an obligation to protect our planet and all the species that inhabit it, and that is why I’m here today to celebrate Oceana’s achievements. For me and my foundation, Oceana is an absolute no-brainer to support because they deliver tangible results and that’s what we need. We need someone to deliver tangible results in this fight.”

 

 

 

 

Our 2015 Ocean Champion

Dr. Enric Sala

National Geographic explorer-in-residence actively engaged in exploration, research, and communications to advance ocean conservation. His over 100 scientific publications are widely recognized and used for conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. Sala’s present goals are to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He conducts expeditions to some of the most remote places in the ocean, to carry out the first comprehensive scientific surveys of these pristine areas to obtain a baseline of what the ocean used to be like. He also produces documentary films and other media to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy ocean, and to inspire country leaders to create large marine reserves. Working with key conservation organizations, Enric was key in inspiring the creation of the Pacific Remote Atolls National Monument, USA; the Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park, Chile; and the Seamounts Marine Managed Area, Costa Rica.

Our 2013 Ocean Champions

James L. Connaughton

From 2001 to 2009 James L. Connaughton was Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a Senate-confirmed position, where he served on President Bush’s senior staff as senior environment, energy and natural resources advisor, and as Director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy. During his service with the federal government, Connaughton served as chairman of the new Cabinet Committee on Ocean Policy. He also played a critical role in the president establishing four new Marine National Monuments in the Pacific, which make up the largest national marine sanctuary in the world.

Alexandra Cousteau

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Alexandra Cousteau is part of one of the world’s most famous environmental dynasties. Grandaughter of ocean exploration legend Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Alexandra left on her first expedition with her father Philippe and mother Jan to Easter Island, Chile, when she was just 4 months old, and learned to dive at the age of seven. Today, she takes that rich legacy of environmental advocacy, exploration and storytelling and moves it forward with Blue Legacy, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that she founded in 2008 to leverage new and emerging technologies to connect mainstream audiences with their local watersheds and their water planet. She has also served as Senior Advisor for Oceana since 2011, helping the largest international organization dedicated solely to preserving the world’s oceans to fulfill its mission.

 Philippe Cousteau

Explorer, social entrepreneur, and environmental advocate, Philippe Cousteau is the 31-year-old son of Jan and Philippe Cousteau Sr., and the grandson of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. As a member of the legendary family, Philippe is continuing the work of his father through EarthEcho International, the non-profit organization he founded with his sister and mother and of which he serves as President. His goal is to engage and empower people to take action for a brighter future. His tools are simple—education, balanced advocacy and a commitment to action.

Our 2012 Ocean Champions

Tricia and Michael Berns

Tricia and Michael Berns have gone above and beyond as generous supporters of SeaChange and Oceana since 2008.  As avid SCUBA divers, the couple has traveled the world, seeing firsthand the breakdown of our world’s oceans and inspiring their commitment to Oceana. “We are so proud and excited to be a part of Oceana and to help protect the oceans of the world for ourselves and for future generations.” …The Berns

South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza has been a driving force behind the success of the SeaChange Summer Party for the past six years. The company’s support of both the event and the auction has made Seachange the premiere Orange County event it is today.  

Past Special Guests

SeaChange Awarded “Best Gala in Orange County”

For more about SeaChange 2017, email SeaChange@oceana.org