Meet Our Newest Board Members!

Greetings from Georgia!

I had the honor of spending a few days last week in Savannah at our annual board retreat. This one was particularly special as we welcomed four new members to our board representing four different corners of North America. We have been aspiring to grow into our new name – the North American Marine Alliance – for the past few years. Not only was it important to us to have a board that represents a more geographically diverse organization, it was essential that our board be representative of the diversity of peoples who make up North America, in particular Indigenous peoples who have been fishing the waters of these coasts for millenia and been fighting against the privatization of fishing rights way before many of us put a name on the giveaway of our ocean commons.

We have more to do to really have a representative board that spans North America. For now, I’m so grateful for the inspiring people who are giving of their wisdom, energy, time, and experience to make NAMA a more effective and powerful organization.

NAMA board members bottom row from left to right: Emily Farr, Melanie Brown, Ryan Horwath. Second row from L to R: Nicola Williams, Niaz Dorry, Jason Jarvis, Justin Solet. Top row extending her arms with joy: Shley Suarez Burgos.

Although we greatly missed two of our existing board members, Emy Rodriguez Rancier and Paul Bogart, our time in Savannah was filled with storytelling, humor, learning about the Gullah Geechee people’s history, and cooking together (including an evening of picking crabs!) while building camaraderie with:

  • Melanie Brown, an indigenous salmon fisher and wild salmon advocate born into a Bristol Bay fishing family that has been sustained by the Naknek River for countless generations. Her children are now part of her family’s setnet operation and she migrates with them to Bristol Bay from their winter home in Juneau annually; 
  • Emily Farr, based in Maine, focuses on building resilience in fishing communities and ecosystems in the Gulf of Maine and is grounded in partnership with coastal communities. She has an interdisciplinary background in fisheries management, coastal governance, climate science, and facilitation; 
  • Shley Suarez Burgos of Miami taps into her background of professional salmon fishing, filmmaking and yoga instruction to engage in creative eco-storytelling to create authentic conversations and events for diverse communities; and, 
  • Justin Solet, a tribal member of the United Houma Nation, commercial fisherman, and 10 year veteran of the Gulf oil fields whose biggest priority is to fight for all Peoples’ rights to live with healthy food, air, water and a piece of land they can call their home.

Please join me in welcoming them to the NAMA family! 

With gratitude,

Niaz Dorry
Coordinating Director

In This Issue
Niaz Dorry Recognized for Policy Advocacy!
Food System Disasters Show the Need to Downsize and Democratize!
Check Out Our Merch!
Black and Indigenous Leadership Gathering!
Addressing Aquaculture to Protect Coastal Communities
Industrial Salmon Farming News Round-Up\
Why Is It So Hard to Find Local Fish (Even by the Water)?