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About Our Organization

Atlantic Healthy Oceans Initiative (AHOI) is a registered non-profit organization that was created in March of 2019. The goal is to build awareness of our changing oceans, and facilitate actions to protect it and the people that depend on it most. Looking after the marine biodiversity of our oceans along WITH the way of life in coastal communities is essential to build successful stewardship. This recipe also creates a connected network of healthy oceans and people, in a sustainable manner for generations to come!


AHOI's Board of Directors and staff work closely with local businesses, volunteers, cooperative students and interns, to create meaningful programs that help the Gros Morne region reduce its waste, carbon footprint and look after the marine environment.


Our team has an incredible background in sustainable fisheries, marine biology and protected areas, Indigenous relations, law, political science, plastics pollution, marine spatial planning, education, journalism, and community development. This base enables AHOI to be ready to work regionally, nationally and internationally with any interested public member, organization, agency and business to build a sustainable blue economy and bring our oceans back to life!  

We want to team up with you to find ways to live a more sustainable life while the ocean's marine biodiversity recovers to support all living things for generations to come.

Our Mission

AHOI is a team-oriented organization who's success depends on strong partnerships with other interested organizations, agencies, governments, businesses and members of the public to protect the long-term health of oceans while working towards a more resilient and sustainable blue economy.


Working together will help AHOI develop, implement and actively participate in projects, programs and collaborative research that protect and strengthen the marine biodiversity throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This work must connect with initiatives to successfully use the marine, coastal and freshwater environments throughout western, NL in a sustainable way.

Creating this balance will allow AHOI to help protect and conserve sensitive marine environments while building strong stewards in our coastal communities who understand the connections between human health, the health of our oceans, and sustainable community development.


Rebecca Brushett

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Founder of
Atlantic Healthy Oceans Initiative


With 15 years of experience, Rebecca holds a Masters of Arts in Environmental Policy and a B.Ed. in secondary sciences from MUN. She also has a B.Sc. in marine biology from Dalhousie University. Rebecca's experience is diverse and ranges from studying grey whales, zooplankton and redfish off Flores Island, BC, creating marine spatial plans with community members in Gros Morne, studying zooplankton found in Bonne Bay, conducting environmental audits for oil and gas companies, and teaching 7-12 sciences throughout the Great Northern Peninsula of NL. More recently, she has worked at the National and International level to advocate for sustainable fisheries and ways to reduce plastic pollution in Canada. She created AHOI in 2019 to inspire a change that will look after our oceans and the coastal communities together for generations to come here!


Jackie Bauman

Senior Plastics

Program Coordinator


Jackie is a graduate student at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus. Her research focus in on coastal communities in Newfoundland that have taken an active role in governing marine resources and conserving the health of marine ecosystems. As the Senior Plastics Program Coordinator, Jackie has the task of working with the Gros Morne region to develop best practices our municipalities, businesses and coastal communities can adopt to reduce their plastic waste in the Gros Morne Region. While she works with this region to transition away from plastic use, Jackie will also identify ways we as a region can move towards a more circular economy. 


Tara Howse

Logistics and Communications Coordinator


Tara holds a B.A. and a post-baccalaureate Bachelor of Journalism degree. She is a former journalist with nearly a decade working in radio, television, newspaper and magazine respectively. Tara is from Labrador and is a member of Nunatsiavut. She was the Executive Assistant to the President of NunatuKavut Community Council and acted as its Communications Officer. She worked closely with the governing council and liaised with members, communities, and other Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments. She worked with External Relations at Parks Canada-Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit, assisting with the 2019 Gros Morne Management Plan. Tara develops AHOI’s communication products and website, and provides logistical support for AHOI programs and events.

Meet The Staff


Aaron Hingston

Marine Planning & Conservation
Data Analyst

Aaron is a current undergraduate student at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus. He is currently studying both math and physics. Having lived by the ocean all his life and taking in its many activities such as swimming, kayaking, or fishing he knows that we need to keep the ocean healthy so people can continue to do so in the future.

Aaron began his work with AHOI as an Waste Buster; collecting and analyzing plastic pollution found on the shores around Gros Morne. Although Aaron still leads the coastal cleanup audits in the summer, he will now dive deeper into the AHOI marine conservation program analyzing marine research conducted in western NL and conducting field work using our new ROV to document the ocean health around Gros Morne!


Samira Hatami


Marine Planning & Conservation
Data Analyst

Samira is an accomplished QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) expert with 12 years of progressive experience in Quality, Health, Safety and Environment affairs in various industries. Now following her deep passion for environmental protection, studying Master of Environmental Policy at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. Samira is originally from Iran and has a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering, as well as a Master of executive management degree. Her main research focus is on sustainable transportation and E-mobility strategic planning and policymaking. Her work with AHOI focuses on qualitative analysis of scientific data and research relevant to policy, legislation, and methodology reviews for marine protection, marine planning, and current marine protection commitments for the areas surrounding the Gros Morne Region off western, NL.

Meet The Board


Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a part of the NunatuKavut community but grew up on the Burin Peninsula. Lisa has a political science degree from MUN and a Juris Doctor from UBC. She was a criminal lawyer in NL before heading to Ottawa to become an advocate for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Lisa brings knowledge and passion in the areas of International sustainable development policy, domestic environmental policy, and not for profit advocacy.


Dylan Odd

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Dylan holds a Masters in Environmental Policy and has 10 years of experience working in the political science world. As a science policy analyst, Dylan brings experience in reviewing and amending policy, regulation and legislation with a view towards sustainable and inclusive development.

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Cheryl Hodder

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Details to come...

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