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Charting a Course to Improve the Effectiveness
of Public Advocacy for the Oceans

From the Jacket Cover:

America's oceans are in crisis. The challenges and opportunities facing ocean conservation organizations and the community at-large have never been greater. Unfortunately, while the ocean conservation movement is strongly advocating for change, it currently lacks the political power to achieve broad-scale reforms. It is clear the community needs to be more effective to take on current challenges and advance urgently needed initiatives to restore healthy and productive oceans.

A groundbreaking new study Turning the Tide: Charting a Course to Improve the Effectiveness of Public Advocacy for the Oceans prepared for the David & Lucile Packard, Oak, and Curtis & Edith Munson Foundations proposes bold, new changes to move the community forward. Through in-depth research on, and interviews with the leaders of a representative cross-section of noteworthy public advocacy organizations, the authors identified "hallmarks of success"—tools or strategy elements these organizations used to win policy fights and accomplish their missions.

Having identified two keys to success in the public policy arena, the authors evaluated the ocean conservation community with respect to the hallmarks and identified the barriers to progress and gaps in effectiveness in current ocean conservation efforts. With a sense of purpose and optimism, Turning the Tide presents conclusions and a set of recommendations that chart a new course for ocean advocacy. The changes suggested in this report are designed to help ocean conservationists lead the nation to thriving oceans and ocean-dependent communities.

"If there is a single take-home message from this study,
it is that the ocean conservation community
needs to participate fully in the political process
to be successful."
  ~Turning the Tide 2003

About the Authors

David Wilmot has nearly two decades of experience in ocean conservation and other environmental issues. He served as the Executive Director of the Ocean Wildlife Campaign, a coalition of conservation organizations, for eight years. He has also served as the Executive Director of the National Audubon Society's Living Oceans Program and on the staff at the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council. He has a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. David Wilmot is Co-Founder and President of Ocean Champions.

Jack K. Sterne is a lawyer and activist with more than fourteen years of experience in ocean conservation, public lands, fisheries, and other environmental issues. He was a staff attorney at the public interest law firm Trustees for Alaska specializing in ocean fisheries and marine mammal issues for over four years. Prior to that, he was in private practice representing most of the conservation groups working on the east side of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. He has a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Jack Sterne is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ocean Champions.

Kim Haddow is President of Haddow Communications, Inc, serves as senior communications strategist for Sierra Club, and previously spent eight years at Greer, Margolis, Mitchell & Burns, where she provided media strategy and produced advertising for twenty-two statewide candidate and initiative campaigns.

Beth Sullivan, an independent consultant, was the Executive Director of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund for six years. Before that, she was the managing partner of the Campaign Design Group, an independent campaign consulting firm that was largely responsible for the 1992 Boxer and Murray Senate wins, as well as hundreds of others.