By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

It is with a mixture of sorrow and pride that I announce that I have accepted the resignation of our founding Chair, Wolcott Henry from the Board of The Ocean Foundation.

Wool and I at our 10th Anniversary event in NYC

Despite the 11 years Wolcott had already invested in this organization as founding chair of both the initial strategic advisory committee and then the Board of Directors, he agreed to stay on for our 10th anniversary year and see The Ocean Foundation into its second decade.  We are grateful beyond measure for his years of service and his willingness to see the 10th Anniversary year through.  We are especially grateful for his hosting of the event in New York last November and his service as master of ceremonies at the event in Washington.

More important, we are grateful to Wolcott Henry for his sixth sense about the need for community to work together on behalf of the oceans.  As he did with other projects such as the DC Marines Community and the CGBD Marine Conservation Program, Wolcott Henry had the vision to recognize the need for a responsive, multi-faceted funding mechanism to support those who work so hard on behalf of our oceans and the communities that depend on them. The Ocean Foundation is the outcome of that vision.  He donated his time and his extraordinary photographs on behalf of the work we undertake– stay tuned for new ones on our upgraded website.  He helped foster such projects as Marine Photobank, Ocean Doctor, and Blue Legacy International, which have now been fledged.  He has taken advantage of the many ways in which The Ocean Foundation can help assure philanthropic success for donors.  He has generously shared his experience with everyone from staff to the Board of Advisors.

From the first quarter of a million dollars in working capital, The Ocean Foundation has grown to 15 times that in revenue; become a top-rated fiscal sponsor for dozens of projects hosted, fostered, and fledged; earned top ratings from Guidestar and Charity Navigator, and posted immeasurable conservation outcomes for sea turtles, coral reefs, sea grass meadows, whales, fisheries, and other ocean life around the globe.  We thank both Wolcott and the boards he chairs (The Henry Foundation and The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation) for their generosity of his time, their seed capital, and their support for our hosted projects and the Ocean Leadership Fund.

As the Board of The Ocean Foundation welcomes new members to replace its veterans, and expands the Board of Advisors to deepen the expertise on tap, I am thankful that we will not lose the wisdom and institutional memory of Wolcott Henry and the others because The Ocean Foundation’s future is all about lessons learned from the past.  Wool has a Donor Advised Fund at The Ocean Foundation, and will continue to be a donor and advisor to us.

Please join me in congratulating Wolcott, now Chairman Emeritus, for his vision, his years of service, and the many gifts he has yet to deploy on behalf of our global ocean.