Every friend of the ocean is important, of course, and so are the donations they make.  And sometimes, we get a donation that is accompanied by a note that makes it clear that some of the gifts we receive are particularly important to the giver.  This past year was no exception—the mailman delivered dozens of heartfelt messages about the ocean and its future from people who took the time to share the why of their giving. 

There was the little girl who decided her 7th birthday party was a good time to collect on behalf of the oceans and sent us the resulting pile of dimes—10 cents in honor of our 10th anniversary.

There was the woman that wrote that she planned to celebrate the life of her brother and to honor his memory by giving twice a year—on his birthday and at Christmas—in support of a healthy ocean because of his, and her, passion for the sea.

There was the young man who asked for donations on behalf of sea turtles instead of presents for his 9th birthday.  He generously sent the more than $200 to us.

There was the note from the couple who honeymooned in the Caymans and wanted to invest in the future of the coral reefs they had so enjoyed while they were there.

There was the woman who fell in love with dolphins as a young child and wanted to help them thrive now that she is grown.

And there was the man who found us on the web and called more than once to make sure we received his donation because it mattered to him that he was helping the ocean in the last days of the year.

With gratitude, I toast the deep commitment of our ocean community—donors, advisors, staff, partners, and project managers.  The generosity, spirit, and passion from ocean lovers of all ages is a great antidote to the bad news that seems overwhelming at times.  And, as I look ahead to lots of exciting ocean events on the calendar and watch our community of dedicated passionate people renewing their efforts on behalf of the oceans, I can believe that we will continue to make progress to address the threats and promote the solutions.

For the oceans,
Mark J. Spalding, President