BigSpeak Founder and Chairman, Jonathan Wygant, coworkers and friends celebrated and showed their support for a good cause at a company-sponsored table at Heal the Ocean’s 20th anniversary gala. The soiree, held this year in the elegant El Paseo restaurant, drew 200 guests, and raised $200,000 in support for the organization’s mission. This year’s gala featured live music, an auction, and celebrity guests Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jean-Michel Cousteau, ocean explorer and son of Jacques Cousteau.
Heal the Ocean, a Santa Barbara based organization focusing on wastewater infrastructure, was founded in 1998 by journalist Hillary Hauser and lawyer Jeff Young. As a young organization, Heal the Ocean snuck into wastewater plants to nab samples, held parades, and performed outrageous stunts to gain attention for their cause.
Since its inception in response to beach closures due to water contaminated with human waste, Heal the Ocean has grown in scale and influence, driving community action. Their efforts resulted in large-scale change in Santa Barbara county’s handling of its septic systems that left seven miles of coastline waste-free and uncontaminated.
Wygant was a founding member of Heal the Ocean, and currently sits on its Board of Directors. BigSpeak has been a long-term supporter and sponsor of Heal the Ocean and its mission. Staff members took part in the beach cleanup efforts and bucket brigade after the catastrophic Montecito mudslides in early 2018.