The Ocean Project is unique in many ways. Formed by senior representatives of several aquariums and conservation organizations in the late 1990s, The Ocean Project’s advisors include some of the most well-respected thinkers and doers in the aquarium, zoo, and conservation communities, as well as incredibly talented young people from around the world.

Our World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council is helping develop the reach and impact of World Oceans Day, especially by engaging youth, the media,  and decision-makers. Advisors support The Ocean Project team in various aspects related to our strategic direction and key initiatives.


Chris Andrews, Ph.D.
Head, Merlin Animal Welfare and Development – US
SEA LIFE Aquariums

Paul J. Boyle, Ph.D., Co-Founder
National Director
American Humane

James M. Hekkers, Co-Founder
IMPACTS Research

Judy Mann-Lang, Ph.D.
Conservation Strategist
South African Association for Marine Biological Research

John Nightingale, Ph.D., Co-Founder
Former CEO & President
Ocean Wise

Patrick O’Callaghan
Executive Director
Deliberate Impact

Sean Russell
Founder and Director
Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

Kathy Sher, Co-Founder
Deputy Director of External Affairs
National Aquarium

Mark J. Spalding
The Ocean Foundation

Vikki N. Spruill, Co-Founder
President & CEO
New England Aquarium

Greg Stone, Ph.D., Co-Founder
Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist for Oceans
Conservation International

Bert Vescolani
Denver Zoo

Danni Washington
Chairperson and Co-Founder
Big Blue & You

The Ocean Foundation, based in Washington, DC, serves as the fiscal sponsor for The Ocean Project

World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council

Meet our key youth advisors on the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council!