Our Vision

A healthy ocean and a sustainable and civically-engaged society.

Our Mission and Values

Advance ocean conservation in collaboration with aquariums, zoos, museums, youth, and other partners in our growing global network.

Everything The Ocean Project does is based on the values of collaboration, innovation, persistence, and a respect for all people and life on our blue planet.

Organizational Overview

The Ocean Project provides public opinion insights and implements strategic initiatives to advance innovative and effective public engagement programs and campaigns that lead to meaningful and measurable actions for a healthy ocean and a more sustainable society.

Created in the late 1990s, The Ocean Project has grown from a handful of aquariums and other organizations into the world’s most extensive network for advancing conservation education and solutions-oriented action for our ocean.  We focus on collaboration to support and enhance our partner institutions’ individual and collective conservation efforts. Our growing network includes approximately 2,000 organizations in 140 countries from all sectors, including zoos, aquariums and museums (ZAMs); schools, universities, and youth groups; businesses and industry organizations; diving, surfing, and sailing clubs; faith communities; government agencies, and many more.

Our primary focus remains on supporting the efforts of our ZAM partners, based on research that has shown that visitors to these institutions not only expect and trust, but also appreciate conservation information and guidance on how to help with solutions, from personal behavior change to community engagement to policy improvements.

The Ocean Project does not actively promote itself and, as such, much of our work is done behind-the-scenes in support of our partners. We highlight our key partners and amplify their innovative conservation-related activities to inspire and empower other organizations worldwide.

The Ocean Foundation has served as the fiscal sponsor for The Ocean Project since 2006.

Primary Strategies

Enhance capacity at our partner institutions

  • Support and empower the communications, education, outreach and activation capacities of our ZAM and other partners to effectively engage their members and visitors, as well as leaders in the public and private sectors

Scale solutions within and beyond our network  

  • Develop and expand our partner network, sharing successes and catalyzing more effective approaches, ensuring these efforts add maximum value to local, regional, national, and global conservation movements

Priority Initiatives

  1. Collaborative Conservation Campaigns

Working in partnership with leading ZAMs and others we develop, implement, and evaluate innovative conservation campaigns, with an emphasis on improving public engagement and increasing both the number of participating institutions and the impact of their efforts. This work builds upon the success of our Innovative Solutions Grants + program developed with NOAA, as well as other initiatives, including those supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the SeaLife Trust and UN Environment.

  1. World Oceans Day

The Ocean Project has served as the global coordinator of World Oceans Day since 2002. Under our leadership, World Oceans Day has grown from a handful of events in a few countries before 2002 into a global celebration of our ocean with more than 1,500 events in 140 countriesin 2018. We have also placed an increasing emphasis on collaboration for ocean conservation by developing a conservation action focus each year.

  1. Youth for the Ocean

Based on comprehensive research that underscores the importance of engaging younger generations in conservation, our youth initiative helps develop a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency. This initiative seeks to accelerate youth engagement and leadership with our ZAM partners and others worldwide. Among various youth activities, the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council helps shape and grow development of World Oceans Day; Sea Youth Rise Up connects youth from within and beyond our network, empowering them to become ocean champions and providing them with opportunities to connect with policymakers, and corporate and other social leaders.