- On Saturday, July 10 Oceana
will make its first fundraising splash in the East End with an event in Watermill appropriately called the "Hamptons Splash Party." The Master of Ceremonies for the event will be film and television star Sam Waterson
and Hamptons.com spoke with him prior to the event.
This is the first time Oceana is coming to the Hamptons, which as you know is fertile ground for charitable fundraising events, particularly in the summer. Do you have high expectations in regards to the support you will garner out here?
Iconic "Law & Order" actor Sam Waterson will be in Water Mill in support of Oceana's "Hamptons Splash Party" on July 10. (aperola.com)
It will be interesting to see. If there was ever a moment for people who care about what goes on in the ocean to make it known, this would seem to me to be the summer and the moment because of the BP oil spill. People may look at the ocean and see it as the same and that it will always be the same, but it is pretty obvious that unless we do something it is going to change and change for the worse.
People in the East End for the most part are opposed to drilling off our coast. We resisted a bridge from Connecticut to Long Island, we opposed the building of Broadwater in the Sound and many of us were active in the opposition to the Shoreham nuclear power plant.
Those important issues for the most part are local, but the effects of oil spills are general. The ocean is a solution in more ways than one. I am fond of saying this because again it can be a solution to our problems, but it is also a solution, so whatever you put in it dissolves and spreads around and the effects of what you put in the ocean and the Gulf will be felt all over the world. Not just by oil spreading around, but by its effects on spawning, the blue fin tuna that you like to eat in the Hamptons will be scarcer and scarcer because the spawning grounds are around the oil spill and the fish are already threatened by over fishing. What happens down there affects us up here.
So as we can be parochial regarding the devastation that an oil spill would do to our beaches, our tourism and our way of life, the mission of Oceana is to take that local concern and make it global in the way we should think and participate.
Seen here at last winter's "Characters Approved" event in NYC, Jeff Goldblum is an active supporter of Oceana. (Douglas Harrington)
Absolutely! The way we use energy locally is having a global effect. Stopping us from seeing it is the fact that I think we as human beings can't believe that we have as much power as we do, even though we have had this kind of power for 100 years or more, the kind of power to affect the environment as if we were ourselves a force of nature. It is hard to believe that we could do anything that would have such a mammoth effect on the planet itself and even though we know it intellectually it is very hard to keep it in your heart and have it affect your behavior. I think we keep reverting to our Neanderthal view that our ship is so small the ocean is so vast, but now we have ships that can fish the ocean bottom and leave no plant life or corals standing. Turning an entire oceanic forest into a sand dune with one pass a mile wide, we just can't imagine we are capable of doing it, but we are and we do.
As you are well aware the conversation, particularly under this administration, has been about green energy alternatives and green economic initiatives. With the vast stretches of agricultural lands we have in the East End because of our vineyards and other farmlands the conversation in the Hamptons has increasingly turned to wind power. What is Oceana's stand regarding off-shore wind driven turbines?
Jackson Browne will be performing. (yopeup.wordpress.com)
They are very, very much in favor of it and it has all these things to recommend it. The East Coast of the country, I am sure you know this, is an enormous potential source of wind power and conveniently located very close to some of the big population centers of the United States. Transmission and distribution becomes a lot simpler than if you had the wind farms in the Dakotas. Oceana is very much in favor of it and when presented as an alternative the oceans have a tremendous contribution to make to alternative forms of energy. So Oceana says do that instead of ruining the oceans by deep water drilling and other things that are endangering the sea.
So you are going to act as Master of Ceremonies at the July 10 event?
Mostly I'll be wandering around and thanking people for coming, Jackson Brown
will be performing. It is really an opportunity for people to get together and feel their strength. The environment is often characterized in the press as the underdog, but there are very large numbers of people that get it and their determined pressure can be very, very effective. So this is an opportunity to see your own numbers, witness your own strength and do some good and have a good time, both at the same time.
So who else will be attending?
There will be lots of surprise guests. Ted Danson
, Jeff Goldblum
and I will be there for sure and other glittering people, more glittery than me probably.
Ted Danson helped to found Oceana, did he bring you into the organization?
Yes, Ted and Keith Addis
who is the Chairman of the Board right now were instrumental in bringing me in. The shock event, and this will ring in the ears of people in the Hamptons I think, was the collapse of the cod fishery in 1996, that was the end of the cod fishery in the Grand Banks. How we got there from 400 years of unimaginable plenty for anyone that enjoys or grew up on the East Coast and enjoys the little fishing villages that dot the coast and the East End of Long Island, it was shocking! That the government and the scientists and the fishing industry would allow this fantastic resource to be reduced to nothing was amazing.
Waterson and I concluded our conversation with me telling him about the work of our own Peconic Baykeeper Brian McAllister
and the very successful East End SPAT program and he recommended a book to me called the "Big Oyster."
I did ask him about life after "Law & Order," and he jokingly asked, "Why do you guys have to put it that way? You haven't heard the last of me yet." He went on to tell me that he will be starring in the Simon Gray
play "Old Masters" at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven and that he will be bringing it to New York early next year.
An impassioned and prolific actor, Waterson is just as impassioned about the preservation of the oceans and is prolific in his commitment to them and Oceana. There are many fundraising events this weekend in the Hamptons and among the most important will undoubtedly be the "Hamptons Splash Party" in support of Oceana and the waters that surround us in the Hamptons specifically and nurtures the very existence of mankind in general.
To attend to and get more information go to www.oceanasplashparty.org
, or call James Abel Events at 917-399-4552.
Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com