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Leaders and innovators drive change for issues facing ocean conservation at inaugural Rising Tide Summit


Apr 25, 2018 in OC in the news

Ocean-focused solutions take center stage at Rising Tide Summit


Chad Nelson, CEO of Surfrider Foundation and Kurt Bjorkman, GM at The Ranch Laguna Beach and Jon Moyer, Dir. Asset Management at Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.


Panelists and attendees set out to bring solutions to life

So what all went down at the the inaugural Rising Tide Summit? 

Attendees heard from those on the frontline of the issues that our oceans are facing but also from businesses and innovators who are working toward effective solutions.

The event kicked off with a special video message from The Honorable Leon Panetta.




Jim Moriarty, Dir. of Brand Citizenship at 72andSunny

“Our ocean and coasts are huge economic drivers but are suffering a death from a 1000 cuts. Traditionally the business community has not been seen as a leader in addressing these issues. The Rising Tide Summit addressed this head on by creating a conversation about intersection of business, innovation and a healthy ocean.”

Surfrider CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen

“This event was truly unlike any I have been to before. What I love about the Rising Tide Summit is that there is true innovation being shared both at a large scale and at the grassroots. There’s no grandstanding or false promises or wishful thinking. Every presenter is making a tangible and measurable difference today. This may also have been the nicest bunch of attendees for whom true collaboration and transparency is of highest priority.”

Dune Ives, Executive Director, Lonely Whale Foundation


Fred Keeley, Former California Assembly Member and David Wilmot, Co-Founder at Ocean Champions and Wendy Wendlandt, Senior Vice President and Political Director, the Public Interest Network

“I was ready for updates on the science and the increasing amount of plastics, mercury and other pollutants in our oceans. What I was truly struck by were the number of businesses and organizations that are applying real world solutions and ideas toward the problems. It is refreshing to see profitable solutions to what we know is already adversely affecting our lives. There is truth to the statement that there is no business on a dead planet…unless you’re WALL-E.”

Glenn Brumage, Executive Director, Surfing Heritage and Culture Center

“AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles was so pleased to co-sponsor the first Rising Tide Summit alongside the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative. It brought together a remarkable group of entrepreneurs, investors, companies, non-profits, scientists and others, all focused on finding sustainable solutions to some of the challenges facing our oceans, and our planet. The conference embodies so much of what AltaSea is trying to achieve here in the harbor, bringing together research, STEM education and sustainable business incubation to create the knowledge, jobs, companies and workers for our area to thrive in the future.”

Jenny Krusoe, Executive Director at AltaSea


Katie Allen, Executive Director of Algalita and youth panelists

The Rising Tide Summit was inspiring… providing a wide-ranging discussion of how innovation, market forces and public policy can protect and restore a healthy ocean. I was impressed the business and conservation leaders at the summit understand that elections matter and to build the necessary political will we must “Vote The Ocean”.

David Wilmot, Co-Founder and President, Ocean Champions

“The networking opportunities and connections I made at the Rising Tide Summit make the world feel smaller and that change feels, not only closer on the horizon, but more possible. All of us that attended are working towards the same end goal – we won’t be effective if we don’t work together. We were all there because the ocean is part of our lives in some way-and we all are passionate about creating solutions to global problems in order to protect what we love. It is easy to be dragged down by the negative when you work so closely on conservation issues, connecting with these other ocean champions gives you hope that together, we will win.”

Katie Thompson
Director, Global Brand Development + Marketing at PADI Worldwide


Matt Mulrennan, Dir of Ocean Initiative at XPRIZE with Nik Strong-Cvetich, Executive Director at Save the Waves Coalition and Jonsen Carmack from Sea Status App

“This was a gathering of key stakeholders who want to find and fund the solutions that help us better understand the ocean and offer protection to this resource that is not only the lifeblood of our planet, but also the engine that drives our state’s economy.” 

Vipe Desai, Founder, Rising Tide Summit and CEO of HDX Hydration Mix


Matt Mulrennan, XPRIZE Foundation, Vipe Desai, HDX and Rising Tide Summit and Sara Lowell, Marisla Foundation