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ABOUT US

A registered UK not-for-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring purposeful journeys with meaningful impact for our ocean. Run by experienced marine advocates Larissa Clark and Duncan Copeland

We are on a mission to use adventure sailing, citizen science and storytelling to inspire action for a healthy ocean among boating and coastal communities.

OUR STORY

You could say that Free Range Ocean has been two decades in the making. Longer if you count back to the childhood dreams. But it was in 2023 that it came to life with the purchase of S.V. Freeranger, a 50ft offshore cruising sailboat that is our expedition vessel and family home.

Our motivations are many. On one hand it's the adventure. The chance to roam freely around the one ocean that connects us all, powered by the wind and curiosity. To respectfully and responsibly visit people and places, learn about cultures and nature and immerse ourselves in the highs and lows of firsthand experiences that come when you step outside your comfort zone. 

 

On the other hand, it's the opportunity that our combined 40-year careers in environmental justice, marine resource management and conservation communications present to do something wonderful together towards the ‘ocean we need for the future we want'.

This is the inspiration for Free Range Ocean.

 

We plan to do three things...

 

1) To use FREERANGER as a testbed and showcase for innovative and accessible research-based or green-operational technologies,

2) to contribute to, and enable other boaters to take part in, the smorgasbord of citizen science projects around the world that urgently need support from sea-going folk, and

3) to host local early-career researchers and storytellers in the countries we visit in a Fellowship Programme that gives them a career-propelling firsthand opportunity to supercharge their skills, motivation and experience.

 

The end goal?

 

To inform, inspire and enable others to have their own positive impact on our ocean with an 'everyone, and every action counts' philosophy.

 

In all our years working in the environmental space where the problems and challenges can feel overwhelming and hope is hard to find, we always remember a favourite quote that we can all relate to -

 

"If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've never been to bed with a mosquito!"

And so, more than a decade later, two boats in and having lived, worked and sailed in dozens of countries all over the world we are now truly on our way.

As the 2022 UNESCO State of the Ocean report reminds us, 'scientific knowledge illuminates the way to reversing the decline in ocean health, conserving marine life, addressing ocean aspects of climate change and using the ocean sustainably to improve people’s lives.'

 

Yet collecting data from our ocean is a vast, difficult and expensive task. One that quite honestly needs all hands-on deck to achieve.

We've launched an Ocean Citizen Science Project directory - a freely accessible platform that people can use to explore and discover interesting projects they can contribute their time, knowledge, energy and experience to - be it boat owners sampling seawater for plankton while sailing off shore, or families at the beach surveying for invasive species, inshore fishers reporting on kelp forests or water-tourists sharing whale photos of their sightings on their adventures. 

Meanwhile, inspired by the courageous wanderings of our parents and grandparents and by Duncan's upbringing at sea, we will set sail from British Columbia in Canada in summer of 2024.

 

The dream is to be able to have a very special period of time together as a family, boat-schooling and teaching our kids as we go, no doubt learning from each other, and contributing to citizen science and ocean conservation projects from pollution to biodiversity along the way.

 

We hope in part that the chance for our kids Eden and Skye to grow up for some time in a boat environment will teach them some life skills about being resourceful, thoughtful, the power of nature, and a break from what can be an overwhelming material culture out there.

 

We want them to learn, and ourselves to be reminded, what it means to be self-sufficient, to respect nature, not to be wasteful, to take care of things, to mend them, to be responsible - but still have fun!

 

We call ourselves the Freerange Crew. 

We encourage you to join us for the journey!

Larissa Clark & Duncan Copeland

Our Story
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ABOUT LARISSA

Larissa Clark has spent the past 18 years powering mission-driven projects that further our knowledge, understanding and protection of our planet with a focus on our ocean. Using strategic communications her work has creatively tackled illegal fishing, air and plastic pollution, climate change and solutions to marine and wildlife conservation leading PR/comms at eXXpedition, TMT, Barba, Running Out of Time, Environmental Justice Foundation and DARWIN200 while inspiring practical action from individuals, corporations and governments.

Larissa is the Director of PR agency This Chapter PR and experiential travel company Another World  Adventures

She's an Adventure Travel Trade Association travel advisor, member of the Explorers Club, Bluewater Cruising Association and Trustee of Women in Ocean Science CT.

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ABOUT DUNCAN 

Duncan Copeland  is an offshore sailor who has dedicated his a career focus on the ‘pointy-end’ of IUU fishing and associated crime. He has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, and South America with all relevant stakeholders, from community to Ministerial level, and across fisheries enforcement agencies. His background includes investigative research, fisheries intelligence and analysis, enforcement support, capacity building, human rights, innovative tools and technology development, political engagement and awareness raising. Duncan is one of the four founders of TMT and the Executive Director for over a decade since the organisation’s establishment in 2013.

Duncan is on the Advisory Board to the University of British Columbia Sea Around Us project, and a member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Ocean Cruising Club, Bluewater Cruising Association.

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LARISSA
DUNCAN
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THE FREE RANGE CREW

LARISSA CLARK

FOUNDER / CREW

Mission-driven entrepreneur and PR working with inspiring organisations to enrich people and planet.

DUNCAN COPELAND

FOUNDER / CREW

Offshore sailor, 20 years international experience implementing effective marine resource management.

SKYE COPELAND

FREE RANGE CREW

Wild about dolphins, 5 years old, life-long sailor, always picking plastic off the beach

EDEN COPELAND

FREE RANGE CREW

Adventure sailor, 7 years old, passionate about protecting nature and having fun

Meet the team

OUR CREW, TEAM AND VOLUNTEERS

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A passionate and creative team of sailors, scientists, storytellers join our Free Range Crew on land and at sea

MARTINE WARBURTON

DESIGNER

Creator of the Free Range Ocean brand identity

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BRYCE THURSTON

SAILOR

Voyage crew NZ to CA transpacific citizen science

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BERNIE MARCON

SAILOR

Voyage crew NZ to CA transpacific citizen science

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BETH DUNSTAN

BIOLOGIST

Citizen science project volunteer

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HUGO VANCRAEN

MARINE RESOURCE MGT

Citizen science project volunteer

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ADAM EASON

SAILOR

Voyage crew Hawaii to CA transpacific citizen science

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DUNCAN SIMPSON

WEB DEVELOPER

Developer of our citizen science directory

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ELLE BURKE

SAILOR

Voyage crew Hawaii to CA transpacific citizen science

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BEN SCHWARTZ

EDITOR

Wordsmithing citizen science directory projects

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MARK GRIFFITHS

SKIPPER

Transpacific skipper and plankton research project

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SARA MAROLT

BIOLOGIST

Citizen science project volunteer

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HENRY MOREAU-SMITH

RESEARCH MASTERS

Analysis of 100 seawater samples collected during Transpacific 2023

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PARTNERS & SPONSORS

Partners & Sponsors
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We are deeply grateful for the time, donations and in-kind support many individuals and organisations have afforded us so far. A dedicated section of the site is in development.

There are many ways to be involved from donating gear, sponsoring the citizen science directory to funding fellowship bursaries for early-career researchers and storytellers.
 
Email Larissa - hello@freerangeocean.org to discuss!

FOUNDING SPONSORS

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