Networks, Coalitions and Collaboratives

No one alone can do what the ocean needs. That’s why The Ocean Foundation launches and facilitates networks, coalitions and collaboratives among like-minded individuals and organizations who share our interest in pushing the envelope.

U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

The Trinational Initiative (3NI)

Together, we work to:

  • Facilitate international dialogues and workshops among funders and experts
  • Maintain a diverse network of trained and effective implementers  
  • Increase the number of funder collaboratives to support organizations around the world

We are proud to host:

Friends of U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

In 2021, the United Nations proclaimed the next ten years the “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)”, for governments, NGOs, and the private sector to concentrate their time, attention and resources to ocean science for sustainable development. We have worked with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) to engage the philanthropic community,  and we established a funding platform, “Friends of the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”. This will be complementary to the Alliance for the Decade as hosted by IOC, The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy as hosted by WRI, and will be apart from the traditional donor nations that support the U.N. agencies. The Friends of the Decade will specifically focus on operationalizing and implementing the goals of the Decade by mobilizing funds to support academic, NGO, and other groups on the ground.

Tourism Action Coalition for a Sustainable Ocean

Co-hosted by The Ocean Foundation and IBEROSTAR, the Coalition brings together businesses, the financial sector, NGOs, and IGOs to lead the way to a sustainable tourism ocean economy. The Coalition was born as a response to the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy Transformations, and seeks to make coastal and ocean-based tourism sustainable, resilient, address climate change, reduce pollution, support ecosystem regeneration and biodiversity conservation, and invest in local jobs and communities.

TriNational Initiative for Marine Science and Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean

The Trinational Initiative (3NI) is an effort to advance collaboration and conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean among the three countries that border the Gulf: Cuba, México, and the United States. 3NI began in 2007 with the goal of establishing a framework for ongoing joint scientific research to preserve and protect our surrounding and shared waters and marine habitats. ​Since its beginnings, 3NI has facilitated research and conservation collaboration mainly through its annual workshops. Today, 3NI has contributed to numerous trinational collaborations, including the Gulf of Mexico Marine Protected Areas Network.


RedGolfo emerged out of decades of collaboration between the three countries that share the Gulf of Mexico: Mexico, Cuba and the United States. Since 2007, marine scientists from the three countries have met regularly as part of the TriNational Initiative (3NI). In 2014, during the rapprochement between Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, scientists recommended the creation of an MPA network that would transcend 55 years of political deadlock. The leaders of the two countries saw environmental cooperation as the first priority for bilateral cooperation. As a result, two environmental agreements were announced in November 2015. One of those, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Conservation and Management of Marine Protected Areas, created a unique bilateral network that facilitated joint efforts concerning the science, stewardship, and management across four protected areas in Cuba and the United States. Two years later, RedGolfo was founded in Cozumel in December 2017 when Mexico added seven MPAs to the network – making it a truly Gulf wide effort.