Our Mission and Values

The Ocean Project advances conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, museums, youth, and many others worldwide.

Everything we do is based on the values of collaboration, innovation, persistence, and a respect for all people and life on our planet.

Organizational Overview

We're a strategic communications organization focused on conservation outcomes and we leverage our global network to scale impact. The Ocean Project provides opinion and market research, strategic insights, and support for innovative and effective public education and engagement programs and campaigns that result in personal, community and policy and societal action for a healthy ocean, and a more sustainable society.

The Ocean Project does not try to brand itself but instead focuses on collaboration with our partners to enhance their individual and collective conservation efforts. Our growing network includes 2,000 partner organizations in 125 countries from all sectors including youth organizations, aquariums, zoos, museums, schools, universities, maritime industry, dive groups, surfers, sailors, businesses, communities of faith, government agencies, celebrities, and many more. Created in the late 1990s, The Ocean Project has grown from a handful of founding North American organizations into the world’s most extensive network for advancing education and solutions-oriented action for our ocean.

As our major public engagement initiative, we have served as the global leader and coordinator of World Oceans Day since 2002. We have grown World Oceans Day from a handful of scattered events (including zero events in the US) into a coordinated worldwide celebration of our ocean that rallies the world community to action for our shared ocean. Each year with the help of the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, we expand the reach and impact of this unique opportunity to engage and activate people.

With youth a major focus of our work for the last decade, in 2018, we launched Youth for the Ocean to help significantly grow our work on youth engagement and leadership development. With a special push around World Oceans Day each year, we engage and empower youth for action in collaboration with others around the world.

The Ocean Project punches far above its weight, with a lean but extremely dedicated and effective team of three, plus a couple of awesome consultants, and great volunteers helping on our advisory councils. We also depend on innovative and enterprising student interns year-round.

Strategies for Achieving our Mission

The Ocean Project empowers our partners with cutting-edge communications research, tools, and related strategic resources that help zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) and others in our network capture people’s imaginations, create more engaged citizens and sustainable communities, and result in a significant conservation impact for our ocean.

Our ZAM partners are the leading gatekeepers in providing the public with experiences that engage them, inspire them to take action at the personal, community, and societal levels, and increase their understanding of the importance of science and conservation. Thus, we focus much of our efforts on reaching and leveraging ZAMs, supporting them in numerous ways to more effectively communicate and engage with their onsite and online visitors for conservation outcomes. Our network now includes many other organizations from all sectors, as a result of our global leadership with World Oceans Day.

Specifically, we:

  • Build and support the communications, education, and outreach capacities of our partners to effectively reach their global audiences for conservation and sustainability impact
  • Provide insights and recommendations for our partners based on the largest ever communications research initiative on public attitudes and motivations regarding the ocean, climate change, and related environmental issues as well as from applied research results and ongoing strategic communications and public engagement efforts
  • Develop new methods and collaborative campaigns for measurably increasing ocean awareness and conservation action among ZAM visitors and the public, especially youth
  • Foster youth engagement and youth leadership development to build a stronger global ocean conservation movement
  • Lead global efforts in support of World Oceans Day and collaboratively grow its reach and impact
  • Broker connections and foster networking among our partner network and other key organizations worldwide
  • Provide additional services to our partner network to help them achieve their conservation missions

The Ocean Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for The Ocean Project.