Green cred: Danson first got involved in clean-water issues through Robert Sulnick, president of No Oil Inc., doing battle with Occidental Petroleum, which was drilling for wells on Will Rogers State Beach. They worked together to get the issue on the ballot, and it eventually killed the conglom’s project. The duo decided to open an office to fight other issues dealing with water contamination. Six years ago, international ocean conservation org Oceana came on the scene and absorbed Danson’s staff. Oceana is now the largest of the nongovernmental ocean-protection organizations. Danson sits on the board of directors.
Focus: Clean-water laws and enforcement through Oceana. The org’s reps travel the campaign trail to raise awareness about clean water issues. One of the most well-known faces of Oceana, Danson actively participates in press conferences and other public arenas.
Latest battle: Seafood contamination. The rise in mercury in edible large fish is a major problem, especially among women in their childbearing years. One in six women has too much mercury in her system, which is likely to cause birth defects. Oceana is targeting coal-burning and chlorine factories that send pollutants into the water. Danson is part of a program that not only focuses on the factories, but attempts to get markets to label FDA warnings to protect consumers.
Eco mantra: “Wake up! You have to become political,” Danson says. “You can’t sit back and let others do it for you. We are in this together, and what you do makes all the difference in the world, to all of us. You matter.”