A Giving Tuesday Focus on Ocean Sustainability: Giving Pledge Philanthropist Melanie Lundquist and LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino Talk Importance of Giving to Solve Climate Change on AltaSea’s Latest Webinar

November 18, 2020

Multi-Emmy award-winning journalist Val Zavala to lead a conversation focused on the gift that keeps on giving (and the importance of giving) – the ocean.

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles has announced an upcoming webinar to celebrate Giving Tuesday, the annual “holiday” that spotlights the organizations that are positively changing the world through their work. The webinar will focus on the importance of ocean economy and sustainability incubators like AltaSea, and the importance of giving to organizations dedicated to finding 21st century solutions to one of the most pressing issues in the world today: climate change. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, December 1 at 10 AM PST. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. The link to sign up for the event is: AltaSea-Project-Blue.org/webinars/.

The webinar will feature Giving Pledge philanthropist Melanie Lundquist, Los Angeles City Councilmember and President Pro Tempore of the Los Angeles City Council Joe Buscaino, and three members of AltaSea’s leadership team: CEO Tim McOsker, Founding Executive Director Jenny Krusoe, and Manager of Advancement Robin Aube.

“Having Melanie Lundquist and Councilmember Buscaino on our side is an honor, and their contributions are a huge reason that AltaSea continues to exponentially grow,” said McOsker. “Their generosity helps push AltaSea further into the national spotlight as a leader in the fight for a cleaner ocean and a bluer economy.”

Melanie Lundquist is one of Southern California’s most significant and active philanthropists and a respected voice on philanthropic issues. Melanie and her husband, Richard, are both signatories of The Giving Pledge, a commitment created by Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to give the majority of their wealth to address some of society’s most pressing problems. They have appeared four times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of the nation’s 50 most generous philanthropists published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The couple has pledged more than $325 million over the last decade to support various education, cultural initiatives, and health care efforts in Southern California, the place they have called home their entire lives.

“AltaSea is an organization that is near and dear to my husband and me, and watching its growth over the past few years has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Lundquist, who pledged $5 million to the organization in November 2019. “Our late friend, Leonard Aube, showed us what AltaSea could become, and we felt compelled to ensure that his vision becomes a reality.”

Councilmember Joe Buscaino has served on the Los Angeles City Council since 2013. He represents the City’s 15th Council District, which is home to AltaSea. Additionally, Buscaino recently served as President of the National League of Cities, the oldest and largest national organization representing over 2,000 municipal governments throughout the United States with a focus on improving the quality of life for their current and future constituents. A lifelong South Bay resident, Buscaino has supported AltaSea since its inception. Buscaino gave his 2018 State of the District at AltaSea’s campus, highlighting the ocean incubator in his district as “the epicenter for the emergence of an entirely new industry.”

Earlier this year, AltaSea and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) co-authored a report that included the first new category of jobs in Los Angeles in more than a decade – the “Ocean Economy.” The report on the newly designated ocean economy shows that it will produce more than 126,000 direct jobs and pay wages upwards of $37.7 billion by 2023 in Los Angeles County alone.

“Having AltaSea in my district is important not only as an economic driver in our local community, but also the entire Southern California region,” said Buscaino. “California has been the birthplace of innovation from the entertainment industry to Silicon Valley, and I am proud that my council district is the home of ocean innovation and the emerging blue economy.”

Timothy B. McOsker is the CEO of AltaSea. Prior to his leadership appointment in February 2018, Tim represented AltAea in critical legal matters, including the lease renegotiation with the Port of Los Angeles. He is a lifelong San Pedro resident and an attorney with more than three decades of experience in government, regulatory, and land development matters. Tim has had a long history of serving San Pedro, the City of Los Angeles, and the State of California in numerous leadership roles, including as Chief of Staff and Chief Deputy City Attorney for former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn. Before serving in the City of Los Angeles, Tim served as city attorney to various Southern California jurisdictions.

Jenny Krusoe is the Founding Executive Director of AltaSea. She plays a crucial role in the success of the organization, from strategic planning to securing funding and partners in the ocean sustainability. Over the course of her career, Krusoe has raised hundreds of millions of dollars by way of foundation, corporate, and government grants. The California native received the Spirit of Los Angeles Award, one of the city’s highest mayoral honors.

Rounding out the panel is Robin Aube, the Manager of Advancement at AltaSea. A lifelong San Pedro resident, Aube leads AltaSea’s annual campaign and education programming. Currently, Aube is a key facilitator and teacher for Expand LA, a Mayor’s Fund initiative to create a crucial science education program for LAUSD schools. Currently, Expand LA is responsible for the science curriculum of nearly 35,000 LAUSD students. The curriculum includes both live lectures and online classwork, along with virtual field trips.

The December 1 webinar is a special edition in a series of webinars that AltaSea has hosted in 2020 following their launch of Project Blue, a digital education platform designed to provide science-based programming through webinars and live chats – all with a goal of inspiring the next generation of ocean innovators and explorers.

Moderating the December 1 webinar will be the multi-Emmy award-winning journalist, Val Zavala. Zavala spent 30 years as a broadcast journalist at KCET in Los Angeles, winning numerous journalism awards. During her career, Zavala has covered a broad spectrum of Southern California issues, including politics, the environment, and the economy.



About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and inspiring the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just, and equitable world.

For more information on AltaSea, please see our website: https://altasea.org

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