The Ocean Foundation

Putting Communities First in the Fight to Protect Our Ocean

As the only community foundation for the ocean, The Ocean Foundation is dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. We focus on our global ocean and every one of us who depends on it.

Historically, the ocean has only received 7% of all environmental grantmaking – and ultimately less than 1% of all philanthropy. But the ocean covers 71% of our planet: This doesn’t add up. For over 20 years, we’ve been working to change this ratio. We’ve connected the money we raise to the communities that need funding for marine science and conservation the most. Through our community foundation services, we provide donor-advised funds, philanthropic advising for those new to ocean-centered giving, and fiscal sponsorship so that people running local projects can focus on their work in the field.

With any gaps we see in our community foundation services, we have also launched core initiatives that work to build lasting relationships within our community and provide leading contributions to global ocean conservation work. These initiatives fall into four categories: Blue Resilience, Plastics, Ocean Science Equity, and Community Ocean Engagement (Ocean Literacy).

Blue Resilience Initiative:
BRI works to support coastal community resilience by restoring and conserving habitats like seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs, seaweeds, and salt marshes. Through this initiative, we focus on ecosystems as a whole, rather than specific parts – because an ecosystem will be more resilient if it is more connected. Not only are we conserving what is left, but we are actively restoring and enhancing the state of these coastal ecosystems.

Our blue carbon restoration and conservation projects work on the ground to create a more vibrant, sustainable blue economy. These projects run smoothly because we equip local communities with the tools to match their needs and provide training for their use.

Plastics Initiative:

TOF’s Plastics Initiative encourages the sustainable production and consumption of plastics – to create a truly circular economy and protect human and environmental health. Because the production of plastics has become so complex and is unlikely to be stopped completely, we focus much of our efforts at the top of the production chain: promoting the redesign of plastics.

We work closely with domestic and global policymakers to address the plastic pollution crisis and steer the conversation to a solution-driven approach that reevaluates how plastics are made, and are ultimately working to steer discussions and lesser-heard perspectives around an international global plastic treaty.

Ocean Science Equity Initiative:
Changing ocean conditions are affecting all of us, but the scientific infrastructure to address these conditions are inequitably distributed across the world. We work to supply the necessary tools and equipment to communities who need them the most – not just those who can afford them – to monitor and respond to fluctuations in ocean environments. Our Ocean Science Equity Initiative addresses the root causes of unequal distribution of ocean science capacity and aims for all countries and communities to have access to the resources they need.

We strive to let local voices lead, and aim to be the bridge between communities and affordable, open-source technology.

Community Ocean Engagement Global Initiative:
COEGI is dedicated to developing equal ocean literacy resources for marine educators across the globe. Our vision is to inspire community leaders and educate people about the ocean’s influence on us as well as our influence on the ocean. If we can educate people both inside and outside of a traditional classroom setting, this knowledge of trends in the ocean will aid in driving conservation action around the world.

This is a community-based approach that not only educates, but also empowers individuals to take action and build lasting relationships.

Without our community, these initiatives wouldn’t be possible. We can’t do it without you. Join us in ensuring a vibrant and sustainable ocean, and future, for generations to come.

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The Ocean Foundation