By Mark J. Spalding

We are all part of a vast, complex, but not infinite, system.  The ocean is the core of the Earth’s life support systems that provide us with air, food, energy and other needs, as well as recreation, fun and inspiration.

All ocean problems can be simplified down to two basic concepts: Overuse of resources and abuse of resources.

With two equally simple (and obvious) solutions: Conserve Resources; and Protect Health – human and ocean—by preventing abuse.  Globally, humanity will pursue solutions – ideally, proactively with an eye to the future, or, perhaps inevitably, reactively when the crises loom.

In the last year we have clarified the way we talk about something we have always done, and will continue to expand: Be a thought leader who provides expertise and appropriate tools to support the marine conservation field. This “Ocean Leadership” is the focus of this year’s annual report (non-interactive download: 2012 Annual Report).

At The Ocean Foundation, we believe in supporting the solutions, tracking the harm, and educating anyone who can become part of the solution now—every one of us, in fact.

Our mission remains to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world.  And, we remain excited that TOF is producing great mission-related results via

▪    Ocean Leadership:  We provide pro bono advice, meeting facilitation, workshop hosting and cutting edge research intended to directly and indirectly move the needle on ocean conservation
▪    Grantmaking:  We believe we fund the best and brightest on seven continents with incredible innovation and collaboration
▪    Consulting: We focus on ocean solutions through our grant program advice for donors, capacity deepening for non-profits, innovative approaches for the private sector (e.g. the Rockefeller Ocean Strategy), and participation in international meetings, negotiations, and workshops.
▪    Communications: Our blogs by a wide variety of authors and our overhauled website are receiving widespread praise
▪    Fiscal sponsorship of projects: We provide support to dozens of great ideas through the frame of better than best practices, some of which are highlighted in this annual report

The “market” need/demand for ocean conservation efforts is big and growing.  It is getting more attention and resources.  As the economy strengthens, we plan to grow with it.  We are poised and ready.
Enjoy this report.  Peruse our website.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the TOF community in making our relationship with the oceans the best it can be for all of us.

For the ocean,

Mark J. Spalding, President