Prior Campaigns

Since our founding in the late 1990s, The Ocean Project has supported our network of partner zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) to become bolder leaders for conservation, including involvement on policy issues, both as individual institutions and collectively as a powerful community that engages tens of millions of visitors each year.

Early campaigns focused on raising awareness and behavior change, such as collaborating with the newly-launched Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helping spread the word through our network. Over time, with we were able to integrate more conservation policy-related issues and engagement into all our work, supporting their involvement in a range of interconnected issues, from action on ocean justice, science-based fisheries, 30x30 and marine protected areas, climate change and ocean acidification, to plastic pollution prevention and appropriations for NOAA, environmental education and related issues, as well as protection of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, conservation of the High Seas, and protection for the world's biodiversity. 

Some of our collaborative campaigns in recent years include: 

  • From 2008-2015, through funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Ocean Project created the Innovative Solutions Grants+ Program and awarded approximately $400,000 in grants of up to $30,000 each to AZA-accredited ZAMs. We provided not only the grants, but also pro bono strategic communications coaching and technical expertise and amplification to catalyze peer-to-peer sharing and learning; see examples here. 
  • In 2016 we collaborated with all eight SEA LIFE Centers across the U.S. in both coastal and inland locations on acampaignfocused on creation of marine protected areas (MPAs). This campaign was based on asuccessful pilot that demonstrated visitor interest in expanding the U.S. network of MPAs. 
  • In 2017 we collaborated with UN Environmenton a pilot campaign for World Oceans Day, to engage visitors at 12 ZAMs across the United States on plastic pollution. Plastic pollution prevent was also the Action Theme for World Ocean Day for several years through 2019.
  • In 2019-2020 we were provided with an ocean messaging grantfrom Heartwired to Love the Ocean that allowed us to work with the Aquarium Conservation Partnership and field test messaging at four aquariums - Aquarium of the Pacific, New England Aquarium, New York Aquarium, and Shedd Aquarium – with an interest in advancing support for MPAs and a commitment to including and engaging diverse audiences. More on Heartwired-related work here.
  • From 2019-2023, with thanks to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Ocean Project made 30x30 our organizational priority, helping ZAMs understand 30x30, effectively raise public awareness, document public opinion and inform policymakers about 30x30. During this time, we also supported our network of ZAMs to engage more on science-based fisheries conservation and management. More on fisheries here and more on 30x30 here.

Though these campaigns have focused largely on supporting U.S.-based ZAMs, some of thelessons learnedhave been applied globally and all resources and tools developed will also be available to our global partner network and used to advance World Ocean Day conservation action

For more information on our recent work, check out our blog posts