An EMMY AWARD WINING FILM directed and produced by filmmakers Andrea E Leland & Cynthia Abbott.

An artist, a fisherman and a photographer take actions that inspire hope for our ailing oceans. Our oceans are suffering from plastic pollution, climate change, and acidification. Viewers witness how our behavior will determine the fate of the ocean and its health for future generations.

"In a time when it's easy to despair about the future, Three Ocean Advocates eloquently documents the lives of advocates who take on intransigent issues and help change practices and deepen public awareness. A beautiful, timely documentary.” 


Liz Cunningham, author of the award-winning Ocean Country

Our oceans cover 70% of the earth and is the largest habitat on our planet.  It provides over 50% of the oxygen we breathe, absorbs heat and carbon dioxide, and it is brimming with an amazing array of biodiversity that not only provides food for 3 billion people on the planet, but also supports a myriad of recreational activities. The ocean is in trouble, we know the causes, we have solutions and we can take actions to restore the health of the oceans.

The ocean advocates featured in this film share their stories and a glimpse into the challenges the ocean is currently facing.  A California artist transforms plastic washed ashore into lifelike portraits of ocean heroes who have deepened our understanding of our interconnections to the ocean’s health.  A California fisherman works with regulators and other fishermen to protect whales that are negatively impacted by the very fishing from which he makes his living.  By taking photos over ten years, a curious snorkeler unknowingly creates an historic record of the life on the coral reefs surrounding the US Virgin Islands, capturing the astonishingly fast degradations of this once bountiful habitats. Follow these creative, passionate ocean stewards and be inspired to consider what actions you can take to support ocean health.


Three Ocean Advocates is a beautifully crafted, rich, and compelling documentary about threats to the oceans and how three advocates have responded. This film  should reach both general audiences and environmental groups; it is also eminently suited for classroom use, where it will inform, provoke questions, and inspire young viewers.


Beverly R. Voloshin, Professor Emerita | San Francisco State University

I’ve witnessed efforts by all levels of government, academia, public interest groups, educators and the private sector to help protect and care for the ocean.  What is often lost is the power of individuals to help change the future of our ocean for the better.  Cynthia Abbott and Andrea Leland have done a masterful job at capturing the contributions of an artist (Tess Felix), a commercial Fisherman (Dick Ogg), and an underwater photographer/naturalist (Barbara Crites).  


Brian Baird, Former California Assistant Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy
Director's Commentary: 

ANDREA E LELAND: For many years I have traveled, filmed, and lived in the Caribbean. Swimming daily in the ocean, I have seen first-hand the changes that are taking place. The reefs are bleaching and dying from viruses, micro- plastic particles and plastic waste are accumulating on our beaches, powerful hurricanes are destroying both the land and the seas. As a filmmaker, I felt compelled to take action to expose these issues and to provide hope by focusing on citizen scientists who are taking steps to heal the ocean. They show us you don’t have to be an expert to take action to heal our planet.

CYNTHIA ABBOTT: As someone who has lived near the ocean my entire life, I have been witness to its sad demise. The health of the ocean is at a critical turning point with only a few years left before we have done irreversible damage.  As an environmental filmmaker, I believe the power of storytelling can change our collective vision of the ocean and create a new hopeful vision for the ocean’s future – one that is protected and thriving through our everyday actions.