Celebrating National Ocean Month


June is National Ocean Month, a time to recognize the importance of our oceans to our nation’s economy, environment, culture and enjoyment. Marine Fish Conservation Network partners have shared why we celebrate our oceans.

“The ocean, its beauty, the life it harbors, its incredible power to provide – I am, we all are, inextricably tied to it. If we can avoid being greedy, and if we take care of it, it will thrive and benefit all of us as a human race. The ocean – all of it – and the people who dedicate their lives to protecting it… Well worth celebrating.”

John McMurray
President, American Saltwater Guides Association
Owner and Operator, One More Cast Charters

“My best stories and my favorite times have all had a connection to the ocean. Learning to swim in the freezing waters of the Oregon Coast, gathering razor clams on Cook Inlet or the adventure of swimming off foreign shores – I am at home and happiest when I am near a healthy ocean.”

Jason Dinneen
Executive Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council

“National Ocean Month is a chance for commercial fishermen, ocean explorers, seafood suppliers (and seafood lovers), our Congressional leaders and other stakeholders to come together and celebrate all that our nation’s waters have to offer… and ensure the protection of our marine resources for generations to come.”

Eric Brazer
Deputy Director
Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance

“The oceans are our last wild frontier. These seas hold many stories and should be revered as sacred, not as a dumping ground. Honor the spirit, the resource, and be grateful for its abundance.”

Lyf Gildersleeve
Flying Fish Company- Sustainable Seafood

“If we can learn to coexist with the sea rather than simply exploiting it – which means fishing as part of the natural system, sharing the resource with a myriad of other creatures and respecting its natural limits – we can enjoy fresh, local seafood, jobs in shore-side communities, and recreation for millions of Americans. Moreover, public understanding and support for this kind of ecologically-sustainable fishing can serve as a bulwark against competing industrial uses that would leave little space for wild fisheries and the wild oceans that sustain them.”

Ken Hinman
Wild Oceans

Linda Behnken pulls in a catch

Linda Behnken pulls in a catch

“The ocean, saltwater, means so much to me. It invigorates and reinvigorates my being, providing a calming solace and a whole lot of fun. I became a charter fishing captain to simply find a way to spend more time on the water. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to be on the water with family, friends or customers. The oceans give me and us so much.”

Dave Monti
Vice President
Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association

“The ocean teaches humility, and our species could use a large dose of that these days.”

Linda Behnken
Executive Director
Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association

“We celebrate our oceans because on the Gulf Coast, water represents life. The ocean can be the source of our livelihood and a place where we experience profound joy, but the oceans also represent a grave threat to our futures as climate change exacerbates the effects of land loss, species collapse, and devastating hurricanes. Caring for oceans is essential to our very survival.”

Kendall Dix
Fisheries Organizer
Healthy Gulf

“I feel most at home when I’m out on the water. I find great comfort in fishing alone, beyond sight of shore, with nothing around me but water. Sometimes, dolphins appear out of nowhere to ride my wake; sometimes, I share the ocean with whales. Usually, I catch fish, although sometimes I don’t. Either way, I find peace.”

Charles Witek
Attorney, lifelong saltwater angler, and blogger

“Dear Pacific Ocean—

Thank you for providing decades of delicious bounty to me and my community of commercial salmon fisher-harvesters. And for the experiences of a lifetime. I think I can sense you listening in, at the annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon, as we tell stories of our times with you. I pledge to always stand by you and your sister seas, just as you have done with me.”

Kevin Scribner
Forever Wild Seafood

“The North Pacific Ocean graces the shores of Alaska and enriches the body and soul of all she touches. Whether an Alaskan commercial fisherman, seafood consumer, ocean viewer or an ocean explorer, the sea sustains us. We are honored in our policy work with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council to advocate for responsible stewardship; we strive to give back to the ocean that has provided so much for so many.”

Theresa Peterson
Fisheries Policy Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council

“The sea is magical to me. It is vast, scary at times, serene at others but always drawing my senses and body to it. I was raised near the ocean and now that I am much older I feel a debt compelling me to do what I can to defend Mother Ocean, not for me but for my grandchildren’s children.”

Tom Sadler
Deputy Director
Marine Fish Conservation Network

“As we celebrate our oceans this month, the first reflection in my mind is time spent with my family … from the coasts of Rhode Island to the Carolina’s Outer Banks … from a day on the boat, snorkeling in its wonders, or time on the sandy shores with my kids. Our oceans sustain our planet and our lives … and in return we must strive to respect and safeguard this natural resource to ensure it is there for future generations.”

Robert C. Vandermark
Executive Director
Marine Fish Conservation Network

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