Julia A. Sanders
NFCC Deputy Director, 2009-2021
Julia A. Sanders died on December 8, 2021 from complications following spleen-removal surgery at University of Washington Medical Center. She was 41.
Known for her exceptional kindness, loyalty, and intellect, Julia is remembered as a steadfast ally and friend, a loving daughter and sister, and a wise, deeply committed advocate for fishing communities facing increasing impacts of climate change.
Julia served as Deputy Director of the National Fisheries Conservation Center (NFCC) and its Global Ocean Health program. In that role she wore many hats: editor of the Ocean Acidification Report and other publications; manager of social media operations; organizer of fundraising events; administrative manager; researcher; public speaker; and advisor to the Working Group on Seafood and Energy, a trade organization representing seafood-dependent communities and businesses.
A gifted writer of epistolary emails, Julia cultivated friends and supporters on behalf of Global Ocean Health, earning a deeply loyal following of her own. “What a fun gal! Feisty courageous spunky daring forgiving smart caring- and so much more- we are going to miss her like crazy,” recalls Anne Kroeker of Seattle, who with her husband Richard Leeds became close friends with Julia. On learning of Julia’s death, Richard wrote: “Tears and tearing of my heart. My utmost sympathy goes out to you and her family at this devastating loss. Sadly losing Julia is the worst loss of these difficult times. Julia was a great person and greatly appreciated. Marine ecosystems and sustainability lost a great benefactor.”
Alyson Meyers, a Virginia shellfish grower and nonprofit leader researching potential for sustainable harvest of sargassum overgrowth in the Atlantic, wrote: “Julia was a joy. She was gifted and intelligent, joyful in her work writing about ways to assist our biggest ecosystem, the ocean. She loved researching solutions and those who pursued them.”
“Julia was completely integral to the work of Global Ocean Health, and was loved by many of the people we work with,” said Brad Warren, President of NFCC. “Personally, I feel like I’ve lost an adopted daughter. Julia first came to work with me 20 years ago at Pacific Fishing Magazine, when we hired her to work in the circulation department. She immediately cracked problems in the magazine’s subscription database that had stumped everyone else.” Warren notes that Julia was soon managing circulation, then took over advertising, where she showed a knack for building new relationships and built her skills in sales and marketing. After leaving the magazine, Warren brought her on board for many projects in publishing, research, editing and administration, leading to her role at NFCC.
At NFCC’s Global Ocean Health Program, Julia earned widespread respect among tribes and fishing communities, scientists and sustainability experts as a skilled analyst and advocate. She played a key role in the organization’s work convening experts and practitioners to navigate impacts of ocean acidification, rising temperatures and sea levels, and related challenges. She built and led NFCC’s work with shellfish growers and coastal engineers to increase coastal resilience in shellfish farms. She edited most of NFCC’s publications and proposals. Julia also led real-time modeling of climate policy (using LCPI’s GHG Explorer software) for NFCC’s work with Washington tribes in 2018, which laid the groundwork for passage of the state’s landmark Climate Commitment Act of 2021, widely considered the strongest climate policy in the United States.
Memorial plans will be announced within a few weeks.
To honor Julia’s determination to protect oceans and fisheries, contributions in her memory may be sent to:
Global Ocean Health, NFCC, PO Box 30615, Seattle WA 98103
Brad Warren, President & Executive Director
Brad Warren grew up picking mussels off the rocks for picnics with his family and listening to his grandparents’ bittersweet recollections of fishing and home-canning Columbia River salmon. “By the time I was a kid, a lot of those mussels and salmon were gone. I guess you could say we found out why habitat matters.”
After more than 25 years as a fisheries journalist and consultant, in 2007 Brad founded Global Ocean Health, originally a joint ocean acidification (OA) initiative of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the National Fisheries Conservation Center. Now solely a program of NFCC, it helps seafood producers, resource-dependent communities and scientists to understand OA, document its consequences, and protect fishery resources and ecosystems.
Brad proposed and served on Washington State’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, the first comprehensive initiative to confront OA. That effort has helped to spur similar initiatives in other states, expanding public investment and capacity for OA research, monitoring, adaptation, and pollution reduction. Brad was appointed in 2013 to the newly formed Ocean Acidification International Reference User Group, an advisory body to multilateral agencies addressing OA.
Brad began working as a journalist covering fisheries and natural resource management in 1980. Among other publications, he was a correspondent and editor for National Fisherman from 1981 to 1996, and later became editor and publisher of Pacific Fishing (1996-2004). He has served as an advisor and consultant on resource management to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, and for industry, tribal, and conservation groups.
Brad can be reached at Brad@globaloceanhealth.org
John Quigley, Ocean Media Advisor
John Quigley is an award-winning artist, producer, and activist. His unique mix of human installation and aerial photography brings together communities to create large-scale messages for the common good. He has created more than 200 Aerial Art images involving over 250,000 people on 7 continents.
In partnership with NFCC, for the last 8+ years, John coordinates Ocean Day for the California Coastal Commission. He brings school children to beaches across Southern California for beach clean ups and to spell out human aerial art ocean awareness messages. Read more about Ocean Day.
In 2009 he coordinated NFCC’s “SOS Acid Ocean” event, using hundreds of boats and kayaks to spell out a warning to the world (see the story under “Projects” tab). The resulting aerial image captured by helicopter appeared in media across the planet. John first introduced extreme aerial art in 2005 with ‘Arctic Wisdom,’ an image with Inuit on the sea ice off Baffin Island. This event generated coverage by media outlets around the world about global warming. A year later he followed with the “Antarctic SOS” from an iceberg off the Antarctic Peninsula.
His body of work has been profiled in the London Sunday Times Magazine and has appeared in hundreds of media outlets around the world including Time Magazine, The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, French Geo, Le Monde, Stern, CNN, BBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Origins, In Touch Magazine and others.
As an activist he was the subject of the documentary “Viaje Gloria” about his 71 day tree-sit to save the 400 year old ‘Old Glory’ oak tree that was featured at the prestigious Whitney Biennial 2004 in New York and he appeared in the Oscar nominated documentary “The Garden” about the struggle to save the South Central Farm in 2006.
Cynthia Blair, Bookkeeper
Cindy is a certified Quickbooks Pro Advisor with over 30 years experience providing accounting support for small businesses, as she does for NFCC. Based in Yelm, she regularly participates in Nisqually Land Trust river floats, hikes, and salmon bakes. She’s also an avid kayaker, rafter, hiker, and horseback trail rider. She lives in a log cabin on 5 acres with horses, chickens, geese, cats, and a dog. Cindy is involved with many non-profits, including Thurston County Hooved Animal Rescue, where she is often called in to rescue and foster abused horses. Cindy donates stays at her lovely Lake St Clair house to non-profit auctions, including NFCC’s. She first worked with Brad and Julia at Pacific Fishing magazine in the early 2000s, and is happy to be able to help them with making our oceans healthier and more abundant.
Roy Wilkie, Graphic Designer
Roy is a graphic designer and digital illustrator. He is responsible for all of NFCC’s graphic design work: from this website, to posters, cards, stickers, and other collateral materials. A talented designer both on and offline, Roy originally came to NFCC when seeking a more meaningful work than UX design for the tech sector. His skill was soon recognized and he was brought on board as the official graphic designer. He continues to volunteer at NFCC’s annual “Keep the Feast Coming” seafood benefit, and enjoys working for a good cause.
Currently Roy is working as a Media Arts teacher for middle school students at High Tech High in San Diego, while continuing to work freelance for nonprofits such as Global Ocean Health and NFCC.
Camorah King, Contributing Research Associate
Camorah King is pursuing her masters degree in international environmental policy with a focus in natural resource management and policy at the Middlebury Institute in Monterey, CA. Her studies and work are driven by the desire to rapidly and equitably decarbonize the US economy. Camorah also has a passion for marine life and conservation originating from growing up in between the water and mountains of Bellingham, WA. Before starting her masters, Camorah worked as a congressional intern and then spent a year traveling Europe and working in Spain as an English teacher. She first learned of Global Ocean Health at a Climate Adaptation conference she attended shortly after finishing her undergraduate studies and has been eager to assist GOH/NFCC in various projects since. In addition to contributing to NFCC programs, Camorah has worked on energy efficiency projects for school districts as well as completed an exploratory study on creating an environmental academy for community leaders in the Monterey Bay region. She is currently engaged in advocating for policy that encourages greater renewable energy procurement at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.
Michele Robinson, NFCC Advisor
Michele Robinson has over 25 years of experience setting policies and managing intergovernmental marine fish and shellfish fisheries and protecting ocean resources. She represented the State of Washington on the Pacific Fishery Management Council for 15 years and, during her career with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, she managed fisheries for Pacific halibut, whiting, groundfish, Dungeness crab, albacore tuna, and sardine.
Michele served on the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s Management Strategy Advisory Board for six years, and currently participates in the Pacific Sablefish Transboundary Assessment Team’s management strategy evaluation process. She also participated on the Lenfest Ecosystem Task Force Advisory Group, a national effort that produced “Building Effective Fishery Ecosystem Plans,” a blueprint for Regional Fishery Management Councils, served on the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, and co-authored the state’s Coastal Marine Spatial Plan.
As a consultant, Michele partnered with NFCC on a Chinook Fishery Evaluation that NFCC produced for PCC Community Markets. She advises NFCC on current and future initiatives and projects, and assists with grant writing.