15 Inspiring Ocean Conservation Charities

Our oceans are like the heartbeat of our planet. They do so much for us—they regulate the weather, give us food, and host an incredible variety of creatures. But right now, they’re facing some serious challenges. Pollution, overfishing, climate change—you name it. These issues are putting our oceans in danger.

Ocean conservation charities work tirelessly to protect and restore marine ecosystems, ensuring that future generations can enjoy a thriving ocean environment. This post highlights some of the most impactful ocean conservation charities, their missions, histories, and the significant contributions they make in preserving our oceans.

Let’s shine a spotlight on a few of these ocean warriors. They’re not just saving sea turtles and dolphins (though that’s part of it); they’re also tackling big problems like plastic pollution and the effects of climate change on coral reefs.


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Ocean Conservation Charities

 

Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy - Ocean Conservation Charities

Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. They create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Mission: To work with partners to protect our ocean from today’s greatest global challenges.

History: Founded in 1972, Ocean Conservancy has been at the forefront of ocean conservation, focusing on issues like marine debris, sustainable fisheries, and ocean acidification.

Impact:

  • Organizes the International Coastal Cleanup.
  • Advocates for sustainable fishing practices.
  • Conducts research on ocean acidification and its impacts.

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Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is known for its direct-action approach to protecting marine wildlife. They use innovative tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas.

Mission: To end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

History: Founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd has become famous for its aggressive campaigns against illegal whaling and fishing.

Impact:

  • Conducts anti-poaching operations.
  • Partners with governments to enforce marine laws.
  • Raises awareness about marine conservation issues.

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The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Their focus is on cleaning up existing plastic pollution and preventing more from entering the oceans through river cleanup systems.

Mission: To develop technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

History: Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup has grown into a major player in the fight against marine plastic pollution.

Impact:

  • Deploys cleanup systems in oceans and rivers.
  • Conducts research on plastic pollution.
  • Engages with communities to promote sustainable practices.

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Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches. Through a powerful activist network, they work on issues such as water quality, coastal preservation, and plastic pollution.

Mission: To protect and enjoy the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network.

History: Founded in 1984 by a group of surfers in Malibu, California, Surfrider has grown into a global movement with over 80 chapters.

Impact:

  • Advocates for clean water and healthy beaches.
  • Runs the Blue Water Task Force for water quality testing.
  • Leads initiatives to reduce plastic pollution.

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Marine Conservation Institute

Marine Conservation Institute

Marine Conservation Institute uses science to identify important marine ecosystems and advocate for their protection. They aim to establish a worldwide network of fully protected marine areas.

Mission: To secure permanent, strong protection for the oceans’ most important places.

History: Since 1996, Marine Conservation Institute has worked to identify key ocean habitats and advocate for their protection.

Impact:

  • Develops the Marine Protection Atlas to track marine protected areas.
  • Advocates for the creation of new marine protected areas.
  • Conducts scientific research to inform conservation efforts.

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Blue Marine Foundation

Blue Marine Foundation

Blue Marine Foundation is dedicated to restoring the ocean to health by addressing overfishing and creating marine reserves. They work to ensure that more of the world’s ocean is protected and sustainably managed.

Mission: To restore the ocean to health by addressing overfishing and creating marine reserves.

History: Founded in 2010, Blue Marine Foundation has quickly become a leading force in marine conservation.

Impact:

  • Establishes large-scale marine protected areas.
  • Promotes sustainable fishing practices.
  • Works with local communities to develop conservation initiatives.

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Project AWARE

Project AWARE

Project AWARE is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of divers. They focus on removing marine debris, protecting vulnerable shark and ray species, and advocating for ocean-friendly policies.

Mission: To connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation.

History: Established in 1989, Project AWARE has mobilized divers worldwide to take action for ocean conservation.

Impact:

  • Runs the Dive Against Debris program.
  • Advocates for the protection of endangered sharks and rays.
  • Engages in policy advocacy to protect marine habitats.

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Coral Restoration Foundation

Coral Restoration Foundation

Coral Restoration Foundation is dedicated to restoring coral reefs, educating the public about the importance of our oceans, and using science to further coral research and restoration.

Mission: To restore coral reefs, educate the public about the importance of our oceans, and use science to further coral research and restoration.

History: Founded in 2007, the Coral Restoration Foundation has become a leader in coral restoration efforts.

Impact:

  • Grows and outplants corals to restore degraded reefs.
  • Conducts research on coral health and resilience.
  • Educates the public and trains new generations of conservationists.

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Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS)

Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS)

Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) creates films, exhibitions, and media campaigns to inspire people to save the oceans. Their groundbreaking work raises awareness and drives action to protect marine life.

Mission: To create films, exhibitions, and media campaigns that inspire people to save the oceans.

History: Since its founding in 2005, OPS has produced impactful documentaries like “The Cove” and “Racing Extinction.”

Impact:

  • Produces documentaries that highlight ocean conservation issues.
  • Engages in media campaigns to drive policy change.
  • Educates the public about threats to marine life.

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WildAid Marine Program

WildAid Marine Program

WildAid Marine Program focuses on protecting marine reserves from illegal fishing and overfishing. They work with governments and communities to enforce marine protected areas and ensure sustainable use of ocean resources.

Mission: To protect marine reserves from illegal fishing and overfishing.

History: Founded as part of WildAid, the Marine Program has been instrumental in improving enforcement of marine protected areas.

Impact:

  • Enhances enforcement of marine protected areas.
  • Promotes sustainable fishing practices.
  • Engages communities in conservation efforts.

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Mission Blue

Mission Blue

Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. Led by renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, they focus on creating marine protected areas called Hope Spots.

Mission: To explore and protect the ocean.

History: Founded in 2009 by Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue has brought global attention to critical marine habitats.

Impact:

  • Identifies and advocates for the protection of Hope Spots.
  • Raises awareness about ocean conservation.
  • Partners with organizations and governments to protect marine areas.

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Reef Check

Reef Check

Reef Check is dedicated to empowering local communities to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs. They use citizen science to monitor reef health and promote sustainable tourism and fishing practices.

Mission: To empower local communities to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs worldwide.

History: Founded in 1996, Reef Check has engaged thousands of volunteers in coral reef monitoring and conservation.

Impact:

  • Conducts coral reef health assessments.
  • Trains local communities in reef conservation.
  • Promotes sustainable tourism and fishing practices.

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The Nature Conservancy’s Ocean Program

The Nature Conservancy’s Ocean Program

The Nature Conservancy’s Ocean Program works to protect and restore the world’s oceans through science-based conservation strategies. They collaborate with governments, businesses, and communities to implement sustainable practices.

Mission: To conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

History: Established in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has a long history of impactful conservation work, including significant ocean conservation initiatives.

Impact:

  • Protects critical marine habitats.
  • Promotes sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
  • Restores coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs.

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Oceanic Society

Oceanic Society

Oceanic Society focuses on ocean conservation through research, education, and engaging people with nature. Their programs aim to protect endangered species and habitats and reduce the impacts of human activity on the ocean.

Mission: To conserve marine wildlife and habitats by deepening the connections between people and nature.

History: Founded in 1969, Oceanic Society has a long history of promoting ocean conservation.

Impact:

  • Conducts research on marine species and habitats.
  • Engages the public through eco-tourism and education programs.
  • Supports community-based conservation initiatives.

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Marine Megafauna Foundation

Marine Megafauna Foundation

Marine Megafauna Foundation focuses on the conservation of large marine species such as manta rays, whale sharks, and sea turtles. They conduct research, promote conservation policies, and engage in community outreach.

Mission: To save threatened marine life through pioneering research, education, and sustainable conservation solutions.

History: Founded in 2009, Marine Megafauna Foundation has been instrumental in protecting large marine species.

Impact:

  • Conducts research on marine megafauna.
  • Advocates for conservation policies.
  • Engages local communities in conservation efforts.

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