Our Vision

Our network of partners are coordinating and collaborating to grow the global movement for a more equitable and sustainable society and a healthy blue planet.

Our Mission and Values

The Ocean Project catalyzes and supports collaborative action for conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, museums, youth leaders, and others in a growing global network.

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

Organizational Overview

The Ocean Project works through a lens of radical collaboration with our diverse network of partners to achieve conservation impact. As a foundation for our work to advance conservation and sustainability as effectively as possible, we have conducted and applied public opinion and market research for more than 20 years. To support our network of partners, we  openly share our data, insights, and related information for action, iterating continually to evolve  our collective effectiveness. Together with our Partners we co-develop campaigns for conservation impact, sharing lessons learned for all involved in our growing global Partner Network to benefit from.

The Ocean Project has grown from a handful of founding organizations in 1997 into the world’s most extensive network for advancing conservation and solutions-oriented action for our blue planet. We focus on collaboration to support and enhance our partner institutions’ individual and collective conservation efforts. In developing World Oceans Day, since 2002 we have grown a global network including approximately 2,000 organizations in 150 countries from all sectors, including youth groups; schools and universities; zoos, aquariums and museums; businesses and industry organizations; diving, surfing, sailing, and other outdoor recreation organizations; faith communities; government agencies, and many more. Our collaborative global youth initiative supports youth-led and youth-serving organizations, to develop a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency for our blue planet.

To achieve the most impact, we focus largely on supporting the efforts of non-traditional stakeholders, such as aquarium and zoo partners, and youth leaders around the world. This focus is based on years of research that shows that 1) youth tend to be the most interested and the most willing to act, with a high potential to influence others and 2) that visitors to zoos and aquariums 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 intentionally does not actively promote itself but rather we aim to promote our key partners and youth leaders and 'brand' the ways to help with solutions to the issues worldwide. As such, much of our work is done behind-the-scenes, supporting our partners to be bolder and connecting them with our global network and beyond to scale success. Together, we strive to protect and restore our blue planet and create a more equitable and sustainable society.

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

Primary Strategies

Enhance capacity of our partners to effectively communicate for conservation impact

  • Support and help effectively activate the communications, education, and outreach capacities of our partners to effectively engage their target audiences, 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 campaigns and movements

Priority Initiatives

  1. Visitor Engagement

We work in partnership with leading aquariums, zoos, and other organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative conservation campaigns. Based on 20+ years of comprehensive public opinion and market research, we focus on improving and emboldening public engagement and increasing both the number of participating organizations 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, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. and the Heartwired to Love the Ocean project.

  1. Youth Leadership

Based on our market research and others' communications research that underscores the importance of engaging younger generations in conservation, our collaborative global youth initiative helps to develop a broad, diverse, active, and united youth constituency. Connecting with youth leaders, key partners and other youth-focused organizations, the initiative seeks to accelerate youth engagement and leadership development worldwide. We support 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. Look for exciting new global youth developments coming in 2021!

  1. World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day provides a unique way to raise the profile of the ocean on 8 June and rally the world for both individual and collective action and global impact. Since 2016, World Ocean Day has been led by a Youth Advisory Council. Since starting efforts in 2002, The Ocean Project has grown World Ocean Day into a United Nations-recognized event (beginning in 2009) and a truly global celebration of our ocean with more than 2,000 events in 150 countries.  We help focus the world - especially through youth involvement - on June as "ocean month" and expand engagement with the fast-growing World Ocean Day network for targeted conservation campaigns in collaboration with existing campaigns and other efforts year-round. The Ocean Project intentionally outreaches to and connects with all sectors and we provide tools and resources for World Ocean Day event organizers to inspire and activate their diverse audiences to help protect and restore our shared ocean that we all need to survive and thrive.


Get involved and join the fast-growing global network of partners!

Have your organization join today or sign up as an individual to be kept informed a few times a year by email. All is free and open to everyone, to collaborate and grow the global movement for our blue planet!