Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana, the world’s leading ocean conservation organization that engages, educates and activates the sailing and boating community toward restoring ocean health, launched its Skippers Program, a volunteer network of local conservation leaders in sailing communities across North America to protect the world’s marine environments.

“It’s time for sailors and boaters to step up and get involved.” said Emma Janson, one of the new Skippers. “We all need to organize and get our friends who love and know the oceans so well to take action. Our community can, and should be, a powerful voice for change.” Rob Howie, another new Skipper said, “The Skippers Program provides an opportunity to accelerate momentum on our shared mission to promote Green Boating.”

Sailors and boaters see firsthand the devastating threats that our oceans face such as plastic pollution, oil spills, depletion of marine life, and marine habitat destruction. Sailors for the Sea has been engaging the sailing community on environmental issues since 2004, most notably with their Clean Regattas sustainability certification program, which has certified over 2,500 events in over 40 countries around the world. The Skippers Program helps to further mobilize the sailing and boating community to act on pressing ocean health issues by supporting Oceana campaigns to win policy victories.


As the first volunteers with Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana’s Skipper Program, these eight sailors are mobilizing local sailing and boating communities to win policy victories that protect and restore the world’s oceans.

Dr. Shelley Brown, Director of Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana believes, “Being well connected to the local sailing scene and passionate about the ocean, Skippers are ideally positioned to be advocates in their communities for protecting our seas. Through the Skippers Program, we have a dedicated group of leaders to help further build a movement of sailors and boaters taking meaningful action to protect our oceans and waterways. I’m excited to work alongside these eight accomplished sailors to galvanize their communities to take action.”

Along with Emma Janson (Stonington, CT), and Rob Howie (Marblehead, MA), other Skippers announced by Sailors for the Sea include James Barry (New York, NY), Doug Bullock (Toronto, Canada), Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick (New York, NY), Mike Ingham (Rochester, NY), Bill Liles (Corpus Christi, TX), and Jack Tobin (Newport, RI). You can read more about the inaugural group of Skippers at Sailors and boaters who are passionate about ocean conservation and want to engage their local community are invited to apply to become a Skipper by contacting Paige Myatt, Program Manager at Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana, at or 401-846-8900, or by visiting

Sailors for the Sea was founded in 2004 by David Rockefeller, Jr. and Dr. David Treadway, two avid sailors who recognized the importance of educating and activating this constituency of ocean enthusiasts. In 2018, Sailors for the Sea joined forces with Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Combining Sailors for the Sea’s goal of educating boaters about marine conservation with Oceana’s experience mobilizing supporters to advocate for policy that supports healthy and abundant oceans, the organization is achieving global reach. ■