Tiffany Duong

Tiffany Duong


Tiffany is trying to simultaneously save the world and have the time of her life doing it. She is a seasoned ocean storyteller, explorer and speaker. Through her multi-disciplined work, she champions collaborative solutions to the world’s biggest problems and tells stories that move people. She can’t stop writing about the ocean, diversity, gratitude, identity and grief.

She spent years as a renewable energy lawyer in L.A. before a scuba diving trip to the Galapagos inspired her to quit everything and revamp her life. She moved to Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon Rainforest, and eventually the Florida Keys as a scientific scuba diver and field reporter. Now, she writes to change the world from her slice of paradise. In addition to EcoWatch, her words appear in PADI, Scuba Diving Magazine, Alert Diver and more. She is a frequent podcast guest and loves talking about the power of water. She also leverages social media to invite fun and joy back into urgent environmental conversations.

Tiffany is a trained climate organizer with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, University of Miami Osher Lifelong Learning Institute climate educator, and a 2022 Op-Ed Project Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. She is also a Principal at Investable Oceans, an ocean and climate finance startup. 

She holds degrees from UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, in international development and in environmental, climate change and refugee law, respectively. She is deeply moved by the interconnectedness of people and places. 

On expedition, she provides scientific, media, and community relations support to preserve the world’s wild places and outdoor heritage. As an expert science communicator and field aid, she has contributed to biological surveys in the Amazon Rainforest, shark tagging around Cocos Island, Costa Rica, campaigns against overfishing and for the rights of nature in Panama and orca whale research in Norway. 

When she’s not underwater, she can be found on her yoga mat or planning her next adventure. 

What got you into journalism?
When I restarted my life, I was interning as a scientific diver and coral restoration practitioner. I ran into my future editor at a lionfish tasting (they’re invasive and delicious), and he overheard me talking about what I’d learned from events around town. He invited me to pitch some stories, and the rest was history. I started writing on the side and quickly realized how much fun I have diving and telling ocean stories. I became full-time and a digital editor with the local newspaper here in the Keys. During the pandemic, I went full-time freelance to open myself up to more publications and types of stories. 

I stay in journalism and storytelling because stories are what tell us who we are – beyond what we’ve done as a civilization. They’re a record of what we care about and what we stand for. 

What environmental cause are you most passionate about, and why?
I live my life in as constant a state of gratitude as possible. There’s so much beauty around us in the natural world, and, anytime I can be in it, I feel humbled and small, in the best of ways. It’s a reminder of the interwoven fabric of the universe, which we are such an insignificant part of. Therefore, in my writing, I try to convey this same sense of awe, wonder, and thankfulness. Sometimes, it’s by presenting unbelievable solutions or by profiling those who are building a better future for us, innovation by innovation. Either way, my favorite “cause” to write about is just the beauty of our world and how and why we should protect it.

What’s your favorite topic to cover?
My favorite topic to cover is – no surprise – the oceans. I find them endlessly inspiring, calming, and expansive. In their depths, I’ve found myself whole and home. Sharing that feeling with others is my favorite thing to do.

What’s your favorite story you’ve written so far, and why?
I wrote a piece about mounds of clothing being illegally dumped in Peru’s Atacama Desert and the implications for local communities. It’s called, “Chile’s Atacama Desert: Where Fast Fashion Goes to Die”. I love this piece because most people have no idea how much damage the fashion industry does – through forced trends, endless returns, cheap fabrics and harmful dyes. Bringing light to this problem made me feel like an investigative reporter uncovering a big scandal. A year after publication, I still have people emailing me who stumble upon the article, feel (rightly) outraged and want to learn more. 

What’s been your favorite interview, and why?
When I wrote a summary on the controversial documentary Seaspiracy, I used a form to contact Sea Shepherd to see if I could get a comment. Imagine my surprise when Captain Paul Watson, founder of the organization and legendary ocean warrior himself called me on my cell phone. “Tiffany? This is Captain Paul Watson, from Sea Shepherd,” he started off. Pushing my excitement and shock aside, I started asking him about our ocean, what humans have done to harm it and what we can still do to help. For 45 minutes, we had great debates and conversations about overfishing, climate change, shifting currents, coral destruction and biodiversity loss. We also talked about the future, the role of hope, and the power of people who care. 

For someone who fell into ocean work and ocean writing somewhat haphazardly, it was an incredible feeling to hold my own in a substantive conversation with one of the most well-known ocean advocates and conservationists on the planet. 

What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
I want my words to move people – to tears, to feel, to action, to hope. I want the stories that I share to cut through the day-to-day drudgery that so many of us feel to remind us all what an incredible coincidence it is that we’re here and alive on this planet. I want help forge connections and new passions. I want to champion innovative solutions and more sustainable ways of interacting with each other and our planet. I want to push people to care and do more.