David Wilmot and Ocean Champions

2016 For Excellence in Policy

Dr. David Wilmot has over 30 years of experience in ocean science and policy. After receiving his PhD in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, he went on to work as a policy fellow and advocate in Washington D.C. including as Executive Director of the Ocean Wildlife Campaign that aimed to conserve large ocean fish. In 2003 Dr. Wilmot helped author a report, ‘Turning the Tide’ that examined why marine conservation efforts were not having a larger policy impact. Shortly thereafter he and Attorney Jack Sterne co-founded Ocean Champions, which identifies itself as, “the only political voice for the oceans.” Ocean Champions is a conservation organization that includes a Political Action Committee (PAC) aimed solely at making the health of our public seas a nonpartisan national government priority. It does this by endorsing and raising money for Congressional “ocean champions” and opposing “ocean enemies,” of both parties. It also works directly to support legislation to address important issues such as over fishing, trash-free seas, and a bill to study harmful algae blooms that passed into law in 2014. Under Dr. Wilmot it also tracks and fights bills and legislative amendments that threaten the marine environment. Since its founding Ocean Champions has worked on over 200 Congressional campaigns with its “champions” winning elections 86% of the time.