Meet the OWNA Team

Captain Donna Lange

Founder, Chairman of the Board, OceansWatch North America

Donna met Chris Bone when she stopped in New Zealand half-way through her first solo sail around the world. Donna and Chris shared a vision to help developing island communities. Having spent three months in the Cape Verdes islands during an earlier sail, Donna was determined to involve the sailing community to make a difference throughout the Caribbean.  She promoted OW during her sail around the world, and worked to establish OceansWatch North America when she returned to the United States.Donna lives aboard with Bob Philburn in Rhode Island during the summer and at home in Florida in the winter. She completed her second solo circumnavigation around the world on May 27th, 2016, leaving and returning to Bristol RI, stopping only in the Panama Canal. She is speaking and doing seminars about her Sail Twice Around accomplishment while promoting and working to develop the incredible mission of OWNA. Her time in Panama has become a powerful opportunity to further the goals of Oceanswatch worldwide. 

Liz Andrews

Executive Director and Education Committee Leader

Liz Andrews comes to us as a cruiser with a strong background in marine conservation and education, as well as being a yacht owner and a seasoned sailor.  She has joined the OceansWatch North America team as the Executive Director to take OWNA to the next level of development with her expertise in program development and marketing, with her vibrant, fun attitude we all enjoy. Liz resides in Maine in the summer and in the Florida Keys, where she sails with her partner doing charters and marine conservation work in the Bahamas.

Chris Bone

Founder of OceansWatch International, OWNA Board Member

Chris is a professional yacht skipper and runs a yacht delivery company. He has been an environmental activist for many years, including 2 years as a skipper for Greenpeace on the yacht Vega. His background also includes organic farming and consulting, and marine marketing consultancy. Chris and his wife Julia have dedicated the past 8 years to OceansWatch, developing the Reef Guardian Programs and forming lasting relationships with many Pacific island communities. They live in Mamaki, New Zealand.

Bonnie Blue

Founding Board Member, Marketing

Bonnie Blue is a founding board member and leads our team in promoting OceansWatch North America in New England. She is a professional artist and owns a shop, The Sea Star, in Bristol, RI. Her skills in graphic design and marketing have been invaluable to OceansWatch, and her passion for the ocean and all its creatures inspires us to keep up our efforts to protect the marine environment.



Dave Benjamin

Board Member OceansWatch North America

Dave Benjamin joins us from the West US Coast, owner of Island Planet Sails. Dave is a lifelong sailor with a passion for marine conservation. He grew up sailing on San Francisco Bay and has owned over a dozen boats ranging in size from 12 to 48 feet. He has cruised and raced on both coasts of the United States, Mexico, and Southeast Asia. He offers years of experience in both the cruising and sailing community, innovation being his strength moving OWNA toward her goals. 

Joan Conover

Radio Operation/Computer system consultant, SSCA Cruising Station Coordinator

Joan joined up with Donna on the first OWNA project, helping to route yachts to a safe harbor in Ile A Vache, Haiti. She has been working with us ever since, contributing her skills in boating communications and weather, research, computer systems, and project development. She is currently leading research into marine radiation tracking by yacht.

Jean Phelix Joseph

Il a Vache, Haiti

OceansWatch NA Coordinator

Born in La Hatte, Il a Vache, Jean Phelix holds a degree in Haitian law from the Ecole de Droit et des Sciences Economiques des Cayes. He is a co-founder and president of The Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti, and also the secretary of the Committee General for the Development of Ile a Vache. Both organizations have worked closely with OceansWatch, and helped oversee our projects in Haiti. Jean Phelix has been a gracious host to visiting members of the OceansWatch team.



Jesse James


OceansWatch NA Coordinator   

Jesse is a Trinedad local who co-hosts the island's Seven Seas Cruising Station. He also owns and opperates the 'Members Only' Maxi Taxi service, and is committed to building a positive relationship between the cruising community and the local people. After Hurricane Ivan, he helped organize the transportation of volunteers and supplies to the island of Grenada, and he runs a yearly food and clothing drive with the visiting cruisers in Trinedad. Jesse became involved in OceansWatch when he met Donna at SSCA during her Haiti tour.



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