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All Hands Alliance is a new a nonprofit grassroots effort to encourage boaters and watersports enthusiasts to do their part in cleaning up the oceans and waterways. Founded by ardent boaters and marine-industry veterans, AHA is built on the idea that the world’s oceans and waterways are an irreplaceable resource that must be valued and protected for future generations. All Hands Alliance brings that value home and encourages and inspires the people who love to spend time on the water to lead that effort by actively picking up trash and debris from the water and shoreline whenever they encounter it, and to work with marinas and communities to reduce waterway pollution.

“All Hands Alliance is taking a lead to change the direction of the flow of trash and pollution into the ocean,” says Holly Paterson, Executive Director of All Hands Alliance. “My family and I have been fortunate enjoy a life on the water, and we feel as members of the boating community we are duty-bound to ensure future generations can do the same.”

All Hands Alliance will encourage leaders in the boating community around the world to engage and inspire the greater communities where they live. Individuals can become ambassadors for $49.00 for a two-year membership and receive the kit to help clean up their own marine environment. Junior ambassadors who love the sea are encouraged to take a leadership role and sign up friends to help win prizes for their litter clean-up efforts.


Marinas and yacht clubs have their own category of ambassadorship and will lead the effort by serving as debris-collection points, as well as participating in a green-marina program that ensures they follow a multi-point strategy that will help prevent litter and pollution from emanating from their property. Businesses are encouraged to join this worthy cause as Business Class Ambassadors, to educate their customers and help build membership among their client base.

All Hands Alliance named Holly Paterson to be the executive director in February, and opened offices in Newport, Rhode Island, shortly thereafter. Paterson has been deeply involved in the marine industry with marketing and event-management positions at Grand Banks and Palm Beach Motor Yachts, Hodgdon Yachts, and The Hinckley Company. In addition, she served as event & PR manager for the Newport & St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta.

The initial board members include George Sass Jr., the former editor-in-chief of both Yachting and Power & Motoryacht magazines, as well as the former editorial director of the Active Interest Media Marine Group. Andrew Casson, managing partner at The Fresnel Companies has joined as co-chairman and as a lifelong boater and tech entrepreneur, he recognized the power of harnessing the community. Aerial photographer and videographer Jake Rockefeller of JR Resolutions brings to the board his love for all things boating and will apply his expertise to All Hands Alliance marketing and communications efforts. Other board members are Carrie Fletcher, a lifelong competitive sailor who grew up on the waters of Hawaii and is owner of Sea Gear uniforms, which provides its services to yachts around the world; and Jason Wood, who served on the editorial staffs of various boating magazines, including Yachting, Salt Water Sportsman, and Power & Motoryacht, over a span of more than two decades.


“The people who love our oceans and nature the most are the people who are out on the water the most—it’s a natural goal for them to pitch in,” Paterson says. “We’ll work with yacht clubs, businesses and other organizations to gain traction in this worldwide problem.”

All Hands Alliance has partnered with NOAA so member participation as the front line of our marine-debris program is easy to track. The app will help members log any marine debris they’ve recovered, and also compile the efforts of the community membership registered.

Because All Hands Alliance is a true grassroots effort, the best ideas of ways to inspire the community will come from within and be spread among the membership to be multiplied and enhanced. Events and programs will grow out of these ideas and be shared among the membership through the website and e-newsletters, to inspire others.