Supporting Island Communities

Despite having some of the smallest carbon footprints in the world, island communities experience a disproportionate burden from the effects spurred by human disruption of the climate. Through our work in island communities, The Ocean Foundation supports local work with global relevance.

Building Capacity and Resilience


Promoting a Sustainable Blue Economy


We work with island communities to build coastal and community resilience. From Alaska to Cuba to Fiji, we recognize that while islands have similarities as isolated areas of land, each remains unique in its ability to respond to shared pressures. The ability to respond relies on a combination of autonomy, infrastructure, and resources. We support this through:

Lasting Community Relationships

We help link local communities together to become a louder, cumulative voice. Using social equity as a frame, we work through groups like the Climate Strong Islands Network to bring partners together, lift voices, and enhance access and opportunity for islanders to reach decision makers.

Leveraging Financial Resources

As a community foundation, we aim to deploy resources to the coastal communities that need them the most. By connecting donors with projects in island communities, we help partners realize full funding for their work and broker independent relationships between our partners and funders – so they can work toward multiyear arrangements.

Technical and Capacity Building

Food security and a healthy ocean go hand in hand. True self sufficiency is reached when islanders can address basic needs while still allowing nature to be part of that equation. By designing and implementing nature-based solutions through our Blue Resilience Initiative, we rebuild coastlines, increase sustainable tourism and recreation, and provide resources for carbon sequestration. Our Ocean Science Equity Initiative trains scientists to use affordable monitoring equipment, to measure the changing chemistry of local waters and ultimately inform adaptation and management strategies.