top of page

Environmental Collaboration Builds A Sustainable Future

Updated: May 5

In the bustling world of environmental projects, collaboration is key. It’s about bringing together underrepresented, historically marginalized community voices and perspectives to create a more sustainable future. Meet Jessica Rose, a visionary advocate whose deep-rooted interest in indigenous tribes and globalization fuels her commitment to fostering cultural understanding and environmental stewardship, which we all bear a responsibility for.


Jessica's extensive global experiences, fervent commitment to social justice, and profound dedication to ocean restoration define her journey. From photography with Indigenous communities in Southeast Asia to leading coral restoration in Mesoamerica, her work embodies a fusion of cultures and ecosystems.

With a recent graduate degree in Marine & Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington, specializing in Indigenous-led restoration and environmental justice, Jessica also spent two years as a FLAS Fellow studying Nuu-chah-nulth (Barkley Sound/ Tseshaht), a First Nation language from Vancouver Island’s west coast. Since graduating, she has been working with Tribes/ First Nations to navigate the emerging carbon removal market through innovative assessment tools for Global Ocean Health's "Partnerships for Tribal Carbon Solutions" program.  Her expertise in documentary photography and collaborative filmmaking serves as a powerful tool to highlight the intricate connection between human societies and the marine environment, emphasizing the vital role of Indigenous voices in global environmental stewardship. Her dedication to outreach and education ensures that Indigenous communities are empowered with the knowledge and resources needed to actively participate in ocean restoration efforts.

With a heart dedicated to uplifting marginalized voices, Jessica's work extends beyond conventional boundaries. Through her impactful collaborations and digital storytelling initiatives with tribal youth, she weaves narratives of resilience and empowerment, amplifying voices that are often unheard. Join us as we delve into Jessica's inspiring journey, where passion meets purpose and advocacy transforms into action.

Jessica’s journey, woven with threads of scientific curiosity and a deep reverence for indigenous tribes, captivates our hearts. Her work with tribal youth and passion for digital storytelling remind us of the power of connection in a rapidly globalizing world.

 IntelliReefs: Building a Legacy of Ocean Restoration and Justice

The vast expanse of the ocean holds more than just water; it cradles the very essence of life on Earth. For millennia, Indigenous Nations have understood this profound connection, holding their lifestyle in balance with the ocean's rhythm and respecting its fragile bounty. Their wisdom, woven into traditions passed down through generations, emphasizes responsible stewardship – decisions made not for fleeting quarterly reports, but for the well-being of the next seven generations. The stark reality is that a dying ocean, on a planet where water covers three-quarters of the surface, presents a future too bleak to contemplate for generations to come.

At IntelliReefs, we are driven by a deep sense of responsibility to leave future generations with a future they can grow from, rather than one that needs to be rebuilt. We believe a different path is possible. We are a company driven by innovation and a deep respect for the ocean. Our solution, Oceanite®, is a revolutionary artificial reef technology inspired by nature's resilience using locally-sourced materials, and local labour and enhancing small business efforts. These carefully designed units create a vital habitat for marine life, promoting the return of coral and kelp, fostering the restoration of critical ecosystems, protecting shorelines, and providing ocean-healthy construction materials.

Oceanite® goes beyond environmental impact. Our mission is more than an environmental endeavor – it is a blueprint for a future that harmonizes profit with purpose, inclusivity, and empowerment. It focuses on generating sustainable employment and growth opportunities within coastal communities, particularly uplifting voices that have historically been sidelined and even victimized (see The Fish Wars of the 1960-70s) in marine conservation efforts. Our strategy not only respects but actively incorporates Indigenous wisdom and customs, championing a comprehensive approach to ocean stewardship where every voice is valued and impactful.

Beyond profit margins and demonstrated dividends. While financial success is essential for any sustainable business, at IntelliReefs, we believe a true measure of accomplishment goes beyond short-term gains. We reject the narrow definition of success measured solely in quarterly reports, annual targets, or five-year profit growth projections. This mindset, deeply entrenched in the prevailing financial cycle, overlooks the enduring repercussions of our decisions on community resilience, cultural vitality, and ecological well-being. By fixating solely on profit, we perpetuate a culture of short-sightedness, ultimately leaving behind a legacy of depleted resources and marginalized communities in an intricately interconnected and inherently delicate world.

Our focus is on long-term restoration, ensuring that the stories passed down to future generations are not tales of struggle and rebuilding, but stories of comradery, ingenuity, and integrity. True success hinges on building a legacy that future generations can inherit – a thriving ocean teeming with life, not a depleted wasteland demanding endless repair.

Investing in IntelliReefs is not just about financial return; it's about leaving a legacy. We seek investors who share our vision of a thriving ocean, not just for our generation, but for generations to come. We envision a future where the ocean is not a resource to be plundered, but a partner to be cherished. A future where profit fuels positive change, empowering communities, restoring ecosystems, and ensuring justice for those who have been historically marginalized. By joining us, you become a partner in building a more just and sustainable future. Together, we can honor the legacy of the ocean, restore its vibrant ecosystems, and create a world where humanity and nature thrive in harmony.
We can ensure that future generations inherit stories of how we faced an existential crisis, not with despair, but with diligence; collaboration, and a firm commitment to building a future they can thrive in, not merely rebuild from the current chaos.

"B.C. Court Acknowledges First Nations' Land Claim Off Vancouver Island," April 29, 2024. By Lynda Mapes. Seattle Times.

- The Supreme Court of British Columbia has granted the Nuchatlaht First Nation aboriginal title to over 4 square miles of land on Nootka Island, making a historic legal victory and positioning them as the second-largest aboriginal titleholder in B.C. This recognition reflects ongoing efforts to safeguard their ancestral territory and pursue sustainable land management practices rooted in their cultural ways.

- The Kitasoo Xai'xais Nation has achieved a significant milestone with the designation of their marine protected area, Gitdisdzu Lugyeks, as a 'blue park,' making it the first Indigenous-led blue park globally. This recognition comes after years of pursuit demonstrating the nation's commitment to effective marine conservation and stewardship of their ancestral territory, despite challenges from federal authorities and neighboring interests.


Jessica Rose's Career Path


- This was a story that I worked on for part of my grad capstone work. The project was started by various students and then I spent the next year and a half conducting interviews, research, and editing what became the final digital story.


"Finding Common Ground;" School of Marine and Environmental Affairs Capstone collaboration project with Chief Leschi School (Puyallup tribal school). 


Currently doing work as managing editor of Global Ocean Health's initiative, Partnerships for Tribal Carbon Solutions I manage the work of our contract journalists as well as am the project lead on our "opportunity assessment tool" prototype and roadmap that I am currently designing and researching. Future work for this opportunity assessment tool will include expanding to a comprehensive tool specifically geared to tribes in the PNW that incorporates carbon removal (CDR) with renewable energy in a system that brings co-benefits to tribal nations' lifeways. And of course, I fill in media needs when needed! (photos and video/ interviews on the site are my work as well)


I have two academic articles that have been/ will be published, both centered on Indigenous-centered topics.

(1) "Centering Indigenous Peoples in Incorporating Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Federal Decision Making: Perspectives from a Graduate-level Class in Conversation with Tribal Leaders." AlterNative, 2023

(2) "Common Ground." Collaborative Anthropologies; 2024


For a more creative outlet, here is my personal photography site (horribly outdated but still useful): 

Managing Editor: Global Ocean Health's initiative, Partnerships for Tribal Carbon Solutions

"Partnerships for Tribal Carbon Solutions." is an initiative of Global Ocean Health

At the helm of Global Ocean Health's initiative, Partnerships for Tribal Carbon Solutions, Jessica serves as Managing Editor with a vision to bridge the gap between environmental initiatives and tribal communities. Her multifaceted role extends beyond editorial duties, as she leads the development of an innovative opportunity assessment roadmap. Designed to enhance tribal knowledge in the emerging carbon removal market, this initiative empowers communities to make informed decisions that align with their values and aspirations. Through her pioneering work, Jessica lays the groundwork for a more inclusive and equitable approach to environmental stewardship.

As part of her early work with this organization, Jessica put together an ArcGIS digital story explaining CDR; "Carbon Removal is Restoration 2.0"
See Map Below:


Jessica's engagements extend beyond her work with Global Ocean Health. She also contributes media coverage for events at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Intellectual House at UW, partnering with Living Breath and the Na'ah Illahee Fund, an Indigenous women-led organization. This includes coverage of the annual Indigenous Food Symposium and Plant & Medicine workshops. Additionally, her photography portfolio encompasses diverse projects, ranging from collaborations with organizations like Blue Earth Alliance (Seattle, WA) Gitameit Music Institute (Yangon, Burma), Á La Aventura Diving Films (Cozumel, Mexico), Tia Foundation (San Martin de Hidalgo, Mexico), Both Ends Believing (Continental USA), Thom's Pai Elephant Camp (Pai, Thailand), & Vermillion Studio (Phoenix, AZ).

Jessica's commitment to amplifying Indigenous voices extends to her academic endeavors. An article she co-authored with Indigenous leaders, scholars, and students in AlterNative, titled:

"Centering Indigenous Peoples in Incorporating Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Federal Decision Making," highlights her dedication to centering Indigenous perspectives in environmental discourse.

Jessica actively engages with Tribal leaders to honor and amplify Indigenous knowledge, facilitating its respectful integration into policy-making processes within a decolonization framework, recognizing the necessity for significant adjustments in the federal government's approach to Tribal Nations.



Justice for the Salish Sea

Jessica embarked on an insightful journey in pursuit of justice and environmental preservation. Through immersive storytelling and collaboration with a diverse array of filmmakers and Indigenous activists, she captured the essence of resistance against the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline. Her work shed light on the interconnected struggles for Indigenous rights, ecosystem health, and climate stability. The depth of her commitment to this cause is apparent in every frame, serving as a reminder of the potency of storytelling to foment change.

Jessica undertook the task of editing the stories documented below, in addition to capturing a significant portion of the original content through filming and photography. This story was a segment of her graduation capstone project, which was initiated by a group of students. She spent eighteen months conducting interviews, researching, and refining the final digital story. To view the storymap, please click the button below!


"In the Eyes of Our Children" A Digital Storytelling Collaboration

Digital storytelling collaboration with Chief Leschi students and University of Washington 

Jessica's involvement in the "In the Eyes of Our Children" digital storytelling collaboration between Chief Leschi students and University of Washington exemplifies her commitment to amplifying indigenous voices and preserving cultural heritage. Serving as both a graduate student participant and the filmmaker/editor behind the scenes, Jessica played a pivotal role in bringing this project to life.

Through the lens of this collaboration, viewers are granted a glimpse into the rich tapestry of indigenous traditions, from captivating canoe journeys to intricate song and dance performances. The project focuses on showcasing the multifaceted talents and enduring traditions of indigenous communities, conveying a message of resilience and cultural continuity. By lending her expertise and passion to initiatives like these, Jessica not only celebrates cultural diversity but also advocates for the recognition and empowerment of indigenous peoples.

"You will see these videos focus on our canoe journey, song and dance, and our language. These videos express our philosophy; we have always been. We've always been musicians, canoers, artists, scientists, and environmentalists as were our ancestors." - Chief Leschi Schools Youtube Video Description

Reef Life Foundation Cultural & Partnerships Director

Jessica Rose

In her role as Cultural & Partnerships Director at Reef Life Foundation, Jessica Rose focuses on cultivating respectful relationships with Indigenous Nations in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to explore collaboration with the Oceanite project. Her duties include researching interested Indigenous Nations, creating culturally appropriate outreach materials, initiating contact and organizing meetings, understanding Tribal perspectives, negotiating agreements, and maintaining ongoing communication. Jessica also facilitates capacity building, collaborates on community engagement, engages in cultural learning, ensures respectful interactions, explores Oceanite applications with Tribal partners, and promotes knowledge exchange between IntelliReefs and Indigenous communities.


Jessica's professional photography site


bottom of page