‘Law & Order’ Star Sam Waterston Visits Maine To Speak About Conservation

by Craig Garrett

Law & Order star Sam Waterson was in Maine last weekend to speak about ocean conservation, a topic very close to his heart. Waterson is perhaps the most recognizable character actor on TV. For 17 seasons, the actor has portrayed district attorney Jack McCoy on NBC’s original version of Law & Order. The series began in 1994 and concluded in 2010 before being resurrected in 2022. He’s a “living landmark” in New York, according to the press, because of his portrayal of McCoy. One interest of Sam Waterston’s was on display during his recent trip to Maine.

At the College of the Atlantic, Sam Waterston discussed ocean conservation in a key speech. Oceana is an international non-profit organization that promotes ocean conservation. Waterston serves on the board of trustees for Oceana. Waterston has continued to utilize his position as a public figure to highlight the importance of having clean and well-maintained seas for both humans and other species. The college shared portions of the event on their official Instagram.

“Law & Order actor Sam Waterston and Susan and David Rockefeller, Jr. join the 2022 College of the Atlantic Summer Institute,” the post reads. “All three and members of the board of Oceana, which seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world’s marine life.”

Sam Waterston returned to ‘Law & Order’ after a long hiatus

In June, it was announced that Sam Waterston would reprise his role as District Attorney Jack McCoy on the upcoming 22nd season of Law & Order on NBC. In doing so, Waterston is extending his Law & Order run to 18 seasons. This will make him the longest-tenured cast member on the series of the franchise.

Producer and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf was pleased to have Sam Waterston back. “Since day one, Sam has had perfect pitch when it comes to Jack McCoy,” Wolf said in December. [He is] as a character who both reflects and expands our ability to understand the law.” The producer implied Waterston might be around for a long time. “I look forward to him emulating the career of New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who served until he was 90.”

When Waterston returned to the set, he said it was surreal. “It looked exactly like the same old sets, the same furniture, the same books, the same linoleum on the floor,” he told NPR in March. “I [had] wondered whether to do it or not do it … but the minute I was back there, I thought, What a fool I would have been to have missed this. It’s been fabulous.”

However, at 81, Sam Waterston is happy to be acting. “Time does take its toll, but working keeps you young,” he said. “It helps to have a job because you have to show up. Somebody is expecting things of you and you need to deliver. So it works for me.”