Ocean Initiatives

The Ocean Foundation's Initiatives are a way to combine your resources with those of other individuals that have similar goals, increasing your philanthropic impact. Your donation provides grants for nonprofits, universities, and community organizations all around the world. In each of our nine initiatives we are looking to mitigate current threats or problems, and further research in these areas. Our nine initiatives are: International Sustainable Aquaculture, Coral Reefs, Coasts and Beaches, Marine Mammals, Polar Seas, Sea Turtles, Ocean Leadership, World Oceans, and Ocean Acidification.

71% Initiative

Ocean resources are shared and relied upon by all. Inherited jointly and freely, the ocean, coasts and marine ecosystems are held in trust for future generations.

Polar Seas

Our polar seas in the Antarctic and Arctic are full of life, but climate change is taking a toll on these polar regions. Much of this warming can be attributed to our use of fossil fuels. Fisheries are crashing, animals are drowning, and the livelihoods of those that live in these regions are disappearing with the ice. Arctic sea ice helps moderate our climate, and without it, the oceans warm up considerably faster. This initiative focuses on regulating fishing, carbon emissions, and the energy we produce and consume, so that our poles can continue to teem with life.  

Sea Turtles

The sea turtle, a charismatic reptile that is as old as the disnosaurs, is now in trouble. Six out of seven species of sea turtles are either threatened or endangered. Sea turtles become bycatch, coastal development destroys nesting and feeding sites, they die from eating our trash, they are hunted for their meat, eggs, and shells, and warming temperatures are causing uneven gender ratios that lead to less breeding. This initiative aims to come up with solutions to these threats, and educate the public about this keystone species. 

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs: the base of our marine ecosystems, supporters of our fisheries, tourism industry, and shoreline protection. Unfortunately, such a valuable part of the marine ecosystem is up against harmful fishing practices, coastal construction, marine pollution, warming seas, and ocean acidification. With 60% of our coral reefs expected to be dead and gone in the next 30 years our reefs face an uncertain future. With the proper management the coral reefs can make a comeback.

Coasts and Beaches

Coasts and beaches are probably where you’ve found yourself on a vacation or two, or if you’re part of the 50% of the world’s population that lives there, then coasts and beaches are your home. Unfortunately their popularity is putting these coastal ecosystems at risk. Industrial pollution, trash, and agricultural runoff, along with sea-level rise are all current problems. But even the most damaged coasts can be restored. This initiative is dedicated to protecting our coasts and beaches, and helping to restore them to their most productive state. 

Ocean Acidification

Often described as climate change's ugly twin, ocean acidification is one of the most serious problems our marine communities are facing. As the amount of fossil fuels we use continues to increase, the ocean is forced to take up more CO2, which lowers the pH. This global change in ocean chemistry has shown negative effectives such as inhibiting the growth of shellfish and causing reproductive problems in fish. Our initiative aims to help mitigate the severe problem of ocean acidification. 

World Ocean

For those that want to donate to the pressing need for ocean conservation, but aren't sure what issue to donate to, the World Ocean Initiative addresses urgent and emerging needs. This initiative is dedicated to providing the necessary financial resources to projects that further the ocean health and the goals of the people working on its behalf. Formerly, this initiative has supported hurricane relief, habitat damage assessment, documentary film work, work related to ocean conservation legislation, and conferences that bring ocean conservation leaders together.

Marine Mammals

Marine mammals are some of the most notable figureheads of the marine community. Marine mammals are facing challenges posed by human activities, including, marine noise, habitat destruction, pollution, shipping traffic, and harmful fishing practices. Many species of marine mammal are now facing threats of extinction, and with so many unanswered questions about this group of animals, it is hard to come up with solutions. This initiative aims to conserve and protect the marine mammals of the world and help us understand them even more. 

International Sustainable Aquaculture

Sustainable aquaculture could be the key to feeding our growing population. Currently, 42% of the seafood we consume is farmed, but there are no regulations that constitute what “good” aquaculture is yet. Unfortunately, there are many unsustainable aquaculture practices, like taking too many wild fish out of the ocean in order to feed farmed fish. This initiative is meant to help fund projects that will expand and improve aquaculture. This could be the key to food security, but first, aquaculture needs to become safer, cleaner, and more sustainable.