Caiti Waks received a degree in Ecosystem Science and Policy from the University of Miami before obtaining her law degree from the University of Florida. During a summer in law school, Caiti brainstormed solutions to ocean issues while biking across the United States, and thereafter, she co-founded Debris Free Oceans, where she currently serves as Executive Director. In addition her work at Debris Free Oceans, Caiti is also the Program and Outreach Director for the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, Caiti currently curates and oversees a portfolio of education, community, environment, and science projects spanning from Miami, Florida to Stark County, Ohio. Caiti helped establish the Marine Protected Area Hope Spot at Long Island Bahamas, and she has worked at the Surfrider Foundation, Audubon Florida, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Caiti is also a Board Member of the City of Miami Beach Marine and Waterfront Protection Authority and the Ohio Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit located in Canton, Ohio.
Debris Free Oceans (www.debrisfreeoceans.org) is a Miami-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring local communities to responsibly manage the lifecycle of plastics and waste through education, outreach, research and policy initiatives. Since its inception in 2015, Debris Free Oceans has removed over 40,000lbs of marine debris from our South Florida reefs and beaches with over 6,800 volunteers. Debris Free Oceans has educated over 10,000 students about how to live a zero-waste lifestyle. Hosting 300+ events, Debris Free Oceans has engaged over 12,000 attendees in interactive zero-waste events designed to promote positive behavior change, including Debris Free Ocean’s annual eco-fashion show and regularly hosted Keg + Klean and Pub Crawl Pickup events. Founded by attorneys, entrepreneurs, and scientists, Debris Free Oceans has the unique capacity to provide comprehensive sustainability consulting services to local businesses, and the group has eliminated millions of single-use plastics from the waste stream by working with leading establishments, including Rickenbacker Marina, The Rusty Pelican, The Wynwood Yard, Whiskey Joes, Under the Mango Tree, and Treehouse Miami. To date, Debris Free Oceans has eliminated 1.2 Million and counting pieces of plastics from the waste stream through its sustainability consulting.