Hitting the Revol-Oceanary Road

This post comes to us from Niaz Dorry, NAMA’s coordinating director. 

This week I leave for a three-week train trip across the US, heading first to the Pacific Northwest, then down the coast to the Bay Area, and home through the Midwest.

Mapping it out 

It’s a big trip, and I wanted to bring you all along, so I’ll be blogging along the way – let’s call it the Revol-Oceanary* Road Diaries. But unlike the novel Revolutionary
, this road will focus on the positive changes we’re creating toward
a future when fisheries are environmentally, socially, and economically just,
and feed into equally just food systems.
This trip was inspired by an
invitation to speak at the annual Food Justice Dinner of
Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) in Seattle on July
th. CAGJ and NAMA are connected through the National Family Farm Coalition, of which we are
both members.

I’ll be speaking at the Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere dinner on 7/26

CAGJ is a grassroots, community-based organization working to strengthen
local economies everywhere. Strengthening local economies while protecting
human rights and addressing environmental justice and inequalities are Revol-Oceanary,
so accepting the invitation was a no-brainer. The dinner also set the tone for
other stops and conversations along the way.

As I go, I’ll share stories about
those we know whose work has touched us and/or is closely connected to the work
we do at NAMA. It just happens that many of those featured in the upcoming
stories are all dear friends and/or long-time colleagues. 

I feel extremely
lucky to have known some of them for over 20 years, and as you read about them
I hope you will see why. Here is a sampling of who you’ll meet if you decide to
join us on the Revol-Oceanary Road: 
Vermont – You’ll be introduced to
Paul Bogart and Judy Robinson. Judy is the Executive Director of Coming Clean and Paul is the Chief Program Officer at Health Care Without Harm (HCWH). NAMA is a member of Coming Clean, 
 a collaborative of environmental health and justice experts working to reform the chemical and energy industries so they are no longer a source of harm. Coming Clean’s work has led to groundbreaking collaboration and organizing in communities that are in the crosshairs of the “chemical barrage [that] has been hurled against the fabric of life” Rachel Carson talked about in 1962. Previously, Judy served as Associate Director of the Environmental Health Fund – where Coming Clean was spawned, regional director of a statewide environmental advocacy group focused on toxics and corporate accountability campaigns. I’ll tell you what makes Coming Clean’s work critical to the fisheries world. 

We’ve been working with Paul and the HCWH team on shifting the seafood purchasing policies of the
healthcare institutions starting with a pilot in New England that we launched
in 2011. We’ll hear about HCWH’s work, the significance of the fisheries work
for them and their networks, and what the future looks like for the healthcare
sector’s desire to truly first do no harm. Paul also happens to be the person
responsible for me working on fisheries issues, but you’ll have to read my next
post to find out about that connection. 
Minnesota – If you don’t already
know Winona LaDuke you’ll get to know her

Winona LaDuke; image from the Island Institute

as the train chugs along just
southwest of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. Amongst her many
accomplishments is the founding of the White
Earth Land Recovery Project
that works to facilitate
the recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian
Reservation while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land
stewardship, language fluency, community development, 
and strengthening their
spiritual and cultural heritage. 

I’ll also tell you about the Red Lake fishery.
This past November Winona paid me a visit in Gloucester. We visited
Neptune Harvest together as she wanted to learn
as much as she could to make sure their fishery on Red Lake was using the
entire animals after they’ve given their sacred lives.
Montana – A lot of people
don’t know that NAMA is part of
Via Campesina
, the international movement of the
peasants. While traveling through Montana, you’ll meet Dena Hoff the
North America coordinator for La Via Campesina. Dena is a farmer and activist
who raises sheep, cattle, alfalfa, and corn in eastern Montana with her husband
since 1979. She and I serve on the executive committee of the
National Family Farm Coalition’s board of directors. She is
also the former chair of the
Northern Plans Resource Council
Oregon – You’ll meet a whole bunch of people in
Oregon including the great

The Overlook Mosaic in Port Orford Bay

group of fishermen and community advocates of Port Orford; Kevin Scribner who works endlessly to make our footprints salmon-safe;
Barbara Dudley, currently
an adjunct professor at Portland State. Her career has included President and
Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild; Executive Director of
Unitarian Universalist charitable foundation, Veatch; Executive Director of
Greenpeace USA; and later Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns of the
national AFL‑CIO. As you might guess, I met Barbara when she began her role at
Greenpeace. Over the years, she’s been a source of inspiration, and a major
spring of encouragement and support.

Chicago – In addition to learning about Asian Carp,
I’ll introduce you to Margie Kelly and Joe Thornton both of whom I met when I
began working for Greenpeace many many moons ago. They’ve also been a source of
inspiration, support, and wisdom all these years. As a greenhorn toxics
campaigner, Joe & Margie were amongst those whose work was informing how we
Margie is currently the Media Relations Manager for the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She previously served as the Communications Manager at Healthy Child, Healthy WorldCommunications Director for Safer
Chemicals, Healthy Families, SAFER, a multi-state coalition of environmental
health organizations, and Director of Communications for the Center for
Reproductive Rights. 
Joe’s work
on the human health impacts of burning toxic waste led to a revolutionary
decision by an Ohio court that persistent bio-accumulative toxins can in fact
cause human health issues. 
We all knew this already since wildlife had been the
first victims of these chemicals. Since the Greenpeace days, Joe career in
science has reached amazing peaks including becoming a of the
U.S. Presidential Science
Award for his work on evolution from, wait for it… President Bush of all
California – Visit to California won’t be complete
without the Revol-Oceanary Community Supported Fishery programs that have
sprang up from Bay Area south.
Local Catch Monterey Bay, Fair Share CSF, SirenSea, Community Seafood, SLO Fresh Catch are the west coast pioneers of
the CSF concept delivering local catch as far north as Sacramento and south as
Manhattan Beach. In addition, fishing community advocates such as
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association and
others are leading the national effort on shifting fisheries policies. I’ll
introduce you to Zeke Grader, PCFFA’s executive director when I’m there. We’ll
also visit with food sovereignty advocates including
Movement Strategy Center’s Fellow Navina
, Hank Herrera of Center for Popular Research, Education
and Policy
and New Hope
Eric Holt-Giménez
of Food First
and Institute
for Food and Development Policy.
Ohio – When someone asks me where I grew up, I
usually say Ohio. The truth is I’ve never lived in Ohio, but it is where I came of age as an activist. As a Greenpeace toxics campaigner I had the privilege of working with the
community of East Liverpool to fight
WTI, the world’s largest toxic waste incinerator on
the banks of the Ohio River. 
I lived across the river in Chester, West
Virginia. I watched the community struggle to do what they knew was right in
the face of community backlash, political backhandedness, and corporate control
of the regulatory system. That time changed me as an activist and made me
understand what it really means to do whatever it takes.
These are just a sampling of stories and people
you’ll hear about during this trip. While I’m traveling, others from our
team and networks will be traveling to other points and introducing you to
others whose work meets ours at the intersection of marine conservation
and social, environmental and economic justice.
See you on the Revol-Oceanary Road!

*Revol-Oceanary is a term that Aaron Longton, a commercial fisherman from Port Orford, Oregon, came up with at the end of the first Community Supported Fishery Summit in 2012. Thank you for the inspiration, Aaron.