June 4, 2018

Funding the Ocean Newsletter – June 2018

News Source: Funding the Ocean

Author(s): C. Davis Parchment

“There is a great future in plastics. Will you think about it? Enough said"

Since 1967, when Walter Brooke uttered these hopeful words to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, this iconic scene marked the rise of the industry that has become "the ubiquitous workhorse material of the modern economy—combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost." And while the industry continues to expand, there is also growing recognition that this convenient but not-so-disposable lifestyle is now, 51 years later, choking our oceans, poisoning us, and deferring costs to future generations. Not convinced? Check out some facts about plastics from our colleagues at the Plastic Pollution Coalition or this great series by National Geographic. If we don't act now, it is estimated that we are on track to have more than 250 million tons of plastic in the ocean by 2025. That's more plastic than fish if you are counting by weight.

On the occasion of World Oceans Day 2018, we at took a minute to gather information to help you better understand the impact of plastics on our ocean, learn what funders are doing to counteract this growing problem, and discover how you can get involved.

From our information gathering in the resource center, plastic efforts tend to focus in these areas:

  1. Raise Awareness
  2. Research
  3. Regulation and Policy
  4. Reduce and Recycle
  5. Restore Oceans and Beaches

So we have decided to highlight a few key findings for each of these. Of course, we know there is more activity in this space than we are covering, and we welcome your grants, research and publications, and any events where those interested in addressing this issue can convene. Please submit your information to:

Raise Awareness:

  • Based on available data on our map: The Plastic Pollution Coalition was one of the most funded projects to raise awareness about plastics in the ocean between 2016 - 2018.
  • One year since the Clean Seas Campaign’s launch, 43 governments, representing half of the world’s coastline, have signed up for the Campaign

Regulation and Policy:

Reduce and Recycle:

Restore Oceans and Beaches:

  • Foundations also seem keen to fund beach clean-ups and restoration projects. These tend to be local efforts contributing to the global issue.
  • Our colleagues at Marine Watch International want to encourage us all to join World Clean Up Day on September 15, 2018. Mark your calendars!
If you too are inspired to act, there are already 55 private funders tackling plastics in our Funding Map—see which organizations they are supporting. Or start a group conversation in our online community. Also, if you are already working on this issue but don’t see yourself on the map, it's an easy fix: send us your data and we will load it!

Come find our booth at the Capitol Hill Ocean Week where we will join our colleagues and March for the Ocean on June 9th.

E-mail us at or tweet using #FundtheOcean. And sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates.

C. Davis Parchment

How can you contribute?

You can share your knowledge or add your data or simply give us a shout at with any questions!