The Utah chapter of the Inland Ocean Coalition was founded in 2016 in Salt Lake City by Tricia Petzold to establish a summit to sea adult and youth environmental conservation advocacy program. The chapter has worked with Rowland Hall Summer Works to establish the Summit to Sea Youth Ocean Ranger course which took place in Pigeon Key, Florida on June 8-16, 2018 with 29 students from Utah, Colorado, Michigan, and California. The chapter has also participated in the Healthy Oceans Coalition Advocacy Training in 2017 and 2018. The Utah Ocean Coalition has partnered on conservation efforts with Neptune Divers and is working on decreasing single use plastics in Utah through the Suck the Straws out of Utah campaign.
In 2021, Kate Ashley completed the Inland Ocean Ambassadors virtual training and transitioned into a leadership position with the Utah chapter. Kate has always felt a natural pull toward the ocean since visiting the Florida coast as a child. After several visits to Hawaii, she knew she needed to find a way to contribute to preserving marine life. By day, Kate is a quality and compliance manager in the laboratory diagnostics field so joining the IOC was the perfect way to learn and help educate others about ocean conservancy. Since moving to Salt Lake City, Kate has taken up trail running and hiking which led to an interest in protecting Utah’s watershed areas and organizing cleanup events. She also enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and relaxing with her two dogs.
Kate Ashley, Chapter Lead