A healthy blue planet with a sustainable and civically-engaged society.
Our Mission and Values
The Ocean Project advances action for conservation in collaboration with aquariums, zoos, museums, youth, and other partners in a growing global network.
Everything The Ocean Project does is based on the values of collaboration, innovation, persistence, inclusiveness, and a respect for all people and life on our blue planet.
The Ocean Project is all about collaborative conservation. As a foundation for all our initiatives, and to help our diverse network of partners advance conservation and sustainability, The Ocean Project conducts and applies public opinion and market research. We support our partners in applying the latest research, provide strategic communications insights, and implement innovative public engagement programs and campaigns for conservation impact.
The Ocean Project has grown from a founding handful of aquariums and other organizations in 1997 into the world’s most extensive network for advancing conservation 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 150 countries from all sectors, including zoos, aquariums and museums (ZAMs); schools, universities, and youth groups; businesses and industry organizations; diving, surfing, sailing and other outdoor recreation 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 and policy and societal level improvements.
The Ocean Project does not actively promote itself but rather we strive to 'brand' the issues and ways to help with solutions. As such, much of our work is done behind-the-scenes, supporting and highlighting our partners. We amplify our partners' innovative conservation-related activities to inspire and empower other organizations worldwide and scale success. Together, we are striving to protect and restore our ocean planet and create a more civically involved and sustainable society.
The Ocean Foundation has served as the fiscal sponsor for The Ocean Project since 2006.
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 efforts
- Collaborative Conservation Campaigns
We work in partnership with leading ZAMs and others to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative conservation campaigns. Based on 20+ years of comprehensive public opinion and market research, our emphasis is on improving public engagement and increasing both the number of participating institutions and the impact of their efforts. This work evolves continuously, building upon the success of our Innovative Solutions Grants + program developed with NOAA, as well as other initiatives, including those supported by the SeaLife Trust, UN Environment, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
- World Oceans Day
The Ocean Project has been growing World Oceans Day since 2002 as a way to raise the profile of the ocean on 8 June and rally the world for action in June, and expanding involvement in conservation campaigns year-round. 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 2,000 events in 140 countries in 2019. We proactively engage year-round with groups in all sectors to help them get involved in celebrating our shared ocean that we all need to survive and thrive and providing meaningful ways, tools and resources for event organizers to promote individual and collective action for ocean conservation.
- Global Youth Leadership
Based on our and others' communications and market research that underscores the importance of engaging younger generations in conservation, our collaborative youth initiative helps to develop a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency. Connecting with our ZAM partners and other youth-focused organizations, the initiative seeks to accelerate youth engagement and leadership development worldwide. We empower youth to become ocean champions and provide opportunities to connect with policymakers and corporate leaders. Among our youth activities, the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council shapes and grows development of World Oceans Day and leads conservation action year-round; the Sea Youth Rise Up advocacy campaign connects youth from within and beyond our network and provides a platform for young people to express their ideas directly with decision-makers and the media.