Dear TOF Community,

Marine Scientist, Michelle Ridgway was one of the first people I met when I began working in Alaska nearly 20 years ago. In our most recent work together, The Ocean Foundation helped sponsor a group of young people from Alaska to travel to Washington DC for Capitol Hill Oceans Week. She was a passionate advocate for our ocean, right down to such critical details as supporting the citizen-approved initiative to keep cruise ships from discharging wastewater into Alaska’s vulnerable nearshore waters.


Sadly, our ocean lost a passionate advocate when Michelle died from injuries suffered in a car accident on December 29th. The Ocean Foundation lost a respected friend and colleague. In an Alaska Public Radio interview, she was quoted as saying, “It’s a phenomenally rich ocean we live in and it matters a great deal what we do to it.”


That is the sentiment that guides The Ocean Foundation community every day, and a truth we must keep at the forefront of our minds.

In memory of a true ocean hero, for the ocean,

Mark J. Spalding,
President The Ocean Foundation