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OWO Announces New President Danielle Dattilio As Organization is Awarded California State Grant

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–


Bryan commented on the new appointment: “OWO is an inclusive water community that grew from a small weekly meetup group to a national organization with 20 chapters. I’m proud to have launched this movement and even prouder to pass the torch to Danielle. From day one at OWO, she was an active promoter, recruiter, and leader–she knows how to take us to the next level better than anyone else.”

An accomplished waterwoman, Danielle is a lifelong swimmer from Lexington, Kentucky, who was team captain for the DePauw University swim team. She first joined OWO in 2018 when training for an Ironman event, which she completed in May 2019. Hooked on ocean swimming, she swam the La Jolla Cove 10-mile relay solo, winning the female non-wetsuit division in 2021. Next was an ultramarathon swim across the width of Lake Tahoe (12 miles) in 2022 and countless open water races and adventure swims with friends.

Danielle’s passion for open water swimming and the community is indisputable. Her drive and enthusiasm for sharing her love of the sport make her the ideal person to take OWO to the next level with more coaches, locations, and events.

Danielle said, “One with the Ocean is about community and inclusivity. It’s a place where anyone can come, feel they belong, and let the ocean speak to them. I’m excited to lead OWO into its next chapter, creating ocean lovers, stronger swimmers, and a more impactful conservation community in Southern California and across the globe. Each member’s impact on the ocean can compound into a collective community as expansive as the ocean.”

Play In The Waves – OWO in the Community

One key focus for OWO’s new President is its community outreach program, Play in the Waves (PITW). This program runs fun, immersive ocean swimming programs for young people from underserved communities across LA and San Diego counties. Launched in November 2020, the program covers everything from water safety to marine stewardship to overcome generational fear and foster a connection with the ocean and each other.

Since its inception, PITW has brought underserved youth from five partner charities to the ocean for immersive sessions.

The Outdoor Equity Grants Program (OEP) recently awarded the LA chapter a $532,000 grant. The body supports health and wellness through educational and recreational activities, service learning, career pathways, and leadership opportunities that strengthen connection with the natural world. In 2024, with this new support and funding, OWO plans to expand its LA services to include single-day swim and surf lessons and a multi-day camp

Danielle commented, “We’re honored to be selected to represent the state of California in furthering outdoor equity. This generous grant allows underprivileged youth to embrace swimming as a lifelong skill, experience the beauty of the ocean, and cultivate a conservation lifestyle to protect what we love!”

About One With the Ocean

In 2014, swimmer Bryan Mineo founded a free weekend meetup group in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, called SMOG (Swim Mechanic Ocean Group) to introduce people to the joys of ocean swimming. It began with an unlikely trio: Bryan, one Olympic swimmer, and an ocean beginner. Word got around, and the group slowly grew.

In 2015, Bryan moved to San Diego to open the second chapter, and Megan (one of the original group) launched a chapter in San Francisco. Soon, swimmers up and down the coastline flocked to the workout groups to master swim techniques, face their fears, and enjoy the camaraderie of ocean swimming. As chapters expanded, ocean conversation became a priority, and communal beach clean-ups became core to the group’s mission.

In 2019, as SMOG opened in more locations, Bryan recognized the need to unite the chapters under one umbrella, and SMOG became a 501(c)(3) called One With the Ocean (OWO). The name more fittingly reflected the relationship between the swimmers and the ocean.

OWO began to attract national and international media attention. It featured in various triathlon and open water swimming publications and secured multiple brand partnerships.

As gyms closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes turned to the ocean for safe, inspiring workouts and community, and five new OWO locations were launched to meet demand. This was also when OWO launched its community outreach program, Play in the Waves (PITW), and held its first Annual Beach Sweep.

In December 2020, in response to massive amounts of waste in the form of masks and gloves, OWO gathered 330 volunteers across 133 miles of California coastline and collected more than 2,000 lbs of trash, all following safe pandemic protocols.

Through its evolutions, OWO’s focus has remained the same: to show up on the shore–athletes, advocates, and adventure seekers–swimming side by side, stroke by stroke, to grow in myriad ways and share our deep love of the ocean.

For more information and images, please contact Zoe Browne at (858) 353-5243 or Danielle Dattilio at (859) 608-4957

Contacts

Zoe Browne

(858) 353-5243

or

Danielle Dattilio

(859) 608-4957

Written by SerieAUKWire

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