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To protect and promote the integrity of Alaska’s marine ecosystems and the health of ocean-dependent communities.


  • A healthy and diverse marine ecosystem has intrinsic value. 

  • People are an integral part of and dependent upon a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem and thus have a responsibility to steward its well being.

  • Coastal residents have a unique perspective on and relationship with the marine ecosystem and have the right to substantial participation in its management.

  • Fisheries and marine ecosystem management must be comprehensive, adaptive, collaborative, and equitably integrate robust scientific research, indigenous knowledge, and experiential fisherman knowledge into decision-making processes.

  • Sustainable management of the marine ecosystem should ensure adequate, diversified, intergenerational access to fishing opportunities for Alaskan residents and communities. 

  • Harvests and other activities within the marine ecosystem must be managed to prevent over-exploitation, waste, and destruction of marine species and their essential habitats.

  • Sustainable management and community resiliency depend upon robust tools for mitigating and adapting to ongoing environmental, economic and social change.

AMCC’s membership is comprised of diverse peoples dependent upon healthy ocean ecosystems and coastal communities. They are individuals and families who have a direct relationship with marine environments, including fishermen, subsistence harvesters, scientists, business owners, conservationists, and other coastal residents.


AMCC’s mission is carried out by a Board of Directors who are all residents of Alaska and include coastal community leaders, fishermen, and others with diverse skills and backgrounds. Our Board and membership embody AMCC’s community-based, “boots on deck” approach to stewardship and sustainable economies, empowering community-based fishermen and ocean leaders as integral drivers of marine conservation.

Tanner crabbing in the gulf FV Lucid Dre


Our Team

Marissa Wilson

Executive Director

Marissa was born in Homer and has commercial fished for halibut, sablefish and salmon along Alaska's Gulf Coast since the age of fourteen. Her career in nonprofit work also began at that formative age and has included roles as an organizer, advocate, operations manager and development director. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle, and considers the non-monetary values of wild harvest to be paramount in her wellness. The opportunity to merge her passion for community advocacy and her commitment to an ocean-dependent lifestyle was realized when she was inducted into AMCC's Board of Directors in 2013. Marissa is proud to have been a founding member of the Alaska Fishermen's Network and helped establish AMCC's Fishing Fellows program.

Theresa Peterson

Fisheries Policy Director

Theresa is an active fisherman and long-time resident of Kodiak, home to the largest and most diversified fishing fleet in Alaska. Theresa has a diverse fishing portfolio: setnetting for salmon, fishing for tanner crab, longlining for halibut, and jigging for cod. Fishing is a family business for Theresa and her husband Charlie and their three children. A tireless advocate for local fishermen, Theresa supports many aspects of AMCC’s Working Waterfronts and Fisheries Conservation programs and is active in community fisheries at a variety of levels. She serves on numerous fishery boards and recently served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, an important and influential body in Alaska’s fisheries management decisions.

Katy Rexford.jpg

Katy Rexford

Director of Catch 49

Katy joined AMCC as Director of Catch 49 in July 2018 after a varied career in Alaska, Hawaii, and California. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College and began her career with the San Francisco-based Bluewater Network in 2000, working on public land issues. Katy continued her conservation and policy work as Program Director for the California League of Conservation Voters from 2003-2011, working on a broad array of local and state-level issues including food security, water policy, ocean issues, climate change, and energy. Since 2011, she split her time between Alaska and Hawaii, founding and operating a music education business in Hawaii. Katy loves to spend time gardening, playing music, and is excited to help grow Catch 49, Alaska’s community seafood hub.

Michelle Stratton

Fisheries Scientist

Michelle was born and raised in Palmer, Alaska, and grew up set netting for salmon with her family on the West side of Cook Inlet. She began her career as a technician for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game before earning her master’s degree in Fisheries Science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and working 8 years as an ADFG fisheries biologist.

In her role at AMCC, Michelle devotes her time toward fisheries research and education, helping build connections between Alaska's fishing communities and the scientific processes that support them. As a lifelong subsistence hunter and fisherman, Michelle has a passion for fisheries biology and its role in sustaining the thriving food systems and wild places that she has lived within most of her life. 



Board of Directors
Josh Wisniewski

Josh is a student of place, a skiff fisherman, a writer and an oral historian of fishing and the rural coastal lifeway. He lives on Barabara Point near Seldovia and fishes in the waters of Tika'a kaq', prioritizing mindful practices of scale and placemaking.


Melanie Brown
Melanie Brown

Melanie was born into a Bristol Bay fishing family that has been sustained by the Naknek River for countless generations. Her children are now part of her family’s setnet operation and she migrates with them to Bristol Bay from their winter home in Juneau annually. 

Bristol Bay and Juneau

Georgie Heaverley

Georgie has participated in the commercial drift gillnet fishery of Cook Inlet for six years and has advocated for the health of fisheries throughout the state. Georgie is currently employed as a fisheries consultant and researcher for Ocean Strategies, a maritime public relations firm.


Darius Kasprzak
Darius Kasprzak.jpg

Darius began commercial fishing at age 14 and has since engaged in most gear types associated with the Gulf of Alaska. He now specializes in the jig fisheries and is owner/operator of the F/V Marona, a classic 1940’s era working vessel and is president of the Alaska Jig Association.


RJ Kopchak
R J Kopchak

RJ has commercial fished, managed a variety of profit and non-profits, and served on City Council and various boards including United Fishermen of Alaska and Cordova District Fishermen United. He is also the founding president of the Prince William Sound Science Center.

Chair | Cordova

Dave Theriault
Dave Theriault.jpg

Dave has a background in conservation advocacy and politics working on statewide campaigns to protect Alaska’s natural resources. He holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School with a specialization in environmental and natural resource law.


Join Our Board

We are currently seeking new members to join our board. If you would like to learn more about joining AMCC’s Board of Directors, please read the AMCC Board Job Description below and contact us at

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