Following the Chautauqua Lecture featuring CEO Janis Searles Jones, learn more about the work of Ocean Conservancy with Chief Scientist George Leonard. With Q&A. As the Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy, George provides strategic leadership on science and policy across our organization. He describes himself as the “chief firestarter,” the person who ignites new ideas and then helps to build bold new initiatives based on emerging knowledge and key conservation needs. In recent years, this has included tackling threats like ocean acidification and integrating a robust response to climate change impacts on our ocean. Trained as a marine ecologist, George has 20 years of experience in ocean policy and advocacy, market-based solutions to environmental challenges and marine research. He has been instrumental in leading some of the most cutting-edge and comprehensive research on trash in the marine ecosystem, which has led to Ocean Conservancy’s work on Trash Free Seas. FROM OCEAN CONSERVANCY: Our ocean is in trouble The ocean is at the center of who we are. Even if you’ve never seen the ocean, you’re impacted by it every single day. It produces half the air we breathe every day, the food we eat and the water we drink. And it inspires us. From majestic whales to jaw-dropping waves, colorful coral reefs to graceful sea turtles, to stories and recreation, the ocean shapes our daily lives, our memories, our communities and our planet As awe-inspiring and invincible as it may seem, the ocean is in trouble. Climate change and ocean trash are threatening a healthy ocean and all of us that depend on it. Our ocean is at the heart of what we do: Ocean Conservancy knows that life depends on a healthy, thriving ocean. This is why, since 1972, protecting the ocean, its coastal communities, and its wildlife has been our only mission. Our programs are designed with the best available science, smart policy solutions and engaged partners to tackle some of the greatest global challenges facing the ocean including climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution. Our work requires us to be active and effective in coastal communities, corporate boardrooms, on Capitol Hill and at international policy negotiations. We are able to deliver thanks to a deep bench of staff expertise in science, policy, financial stewardship and outreach. We are also adept at cultivating strategic partnerships that can mobilize millions for the International Coastal Cleanup or push for ambitious policy solutions. We seek to build from our collective strengths to secure lasting conservation wins. Our track record, wise use of resources and an unwavering commitment makes Ocean Conservancy the go-to organization for science-based policy that keeps the ocean and our coastal communities healthy and prosperous. Our ocean benefits when we work together: • Ocean Conservancy’s Arctic expert served on the U.S. delegation that led to ten countries agreeing to protect more than a million square miles of the Arctic Ocean from commercial fishing. • Ocean Conservancy inspired 1 million volunteers in more than 120 countries to collect 23.3 million pounds of trash at the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup. Launched in 1986 on a single beach in Texas, the ICC has mobilized more than 15 million volunteers to remove nearly 315 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide. • Ocean Conservancy is bringing people together to take action on climate change. As a founding partner of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, we have been working to unite diverse stakeholders across the world to find solutions that protect the ocean and the people who rely on it. France, Chile and the U.S. Pacific Northwest were among the first to join. Our ocean needs you: At Ocean Conservancy, we believe that everyone has a role to play in protecting the ocean. We build partnerships with stakeholders ranging from elected representatives to international corporations and individual volunteers to protect the ocean from the greatest global challenges of our time. With your support, we can turn the tide on threats to our ocean and make a better world for the communities and wildlife that depend on it.