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.
To help our network of partners achieve their missions, The Ocean Project has conducted public opinion and market research since 1998. We work with our partners to apply the research, provide strategic communications insights, and implement innovative public engagement programs and campaigns to collaboratively create a better future.
The Ocean Project has grown from a founding handful of aquariums and other organizations in the late 1990s 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 and policy and societal level 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 and amplify our partners' innovative conservation-related activities to inspire and empower other organizations worldwide and scale success. Together, we can achieve a healthy ocean and a more 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 movements
- Collaborative Conservation Campaigns
Based on 20 years of comprehensive public opinion and market research, we work in partnership with leading ZAMs and others to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative conservation campaigns. Our emphasis is 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.
- World Oceans Day
The Ocean Project has been growing World Oceans Day since 2002 as a way to raise the profile of the ocean and rally the world every 8th of June, with expanded involvement in 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 1,500 events in 140 countries in 2018. We place emphasis on celebrating our shared ocean that we all need to survive and thrive and provide ways for individual and collective action for ocean conservation.
- Youth Initiative
Based on our 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 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 in dozens of countries; the Sea Youth Rise Up annual advocacy campaign connects youth from within and beyond our network and provides a platform for youth to express their ideas directly with decision-makers.