January 30, 2018

Funding the Ocean Newsletter

News Source: Funding the Ocean

Author(s): C. Davis Parchment

Dear Colleague,
We hope this finds you well and settling into 2018 with determination despite recent U.S. policy set-backs. In the spirit of #OceanOptimism, we wanted to focus this first newsletter on opportunities to continue to inspire and motivate your work. Here are a few key highlights:

First, be sure to watch the latest episodes of Blue Planet II. This epic 7-part series represents 125 expeditions to 39 countries. As with the first season, the visuals are even more breathtaking and will leave you with that never-ending question of "how did they do that?". Beyond the sheer beauty, Blue Planet II is making waves. After airing in the United Kingdom and receiving the Impact Award at this year's National Television Awards, the series is causing ripple effects ranging from booms in course registrations for marine biology to the British government making plastic waste a central topic in its November budget.

If you too are inspired to act, there are already 89 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!

Next, we want to hear your stories! We want to know how is making a difference in your work. Whether it has spurred conversations, collaborations or informed your strategy, we want to hear about it. And, for that matter, if you have discovered challenges, we also want to know.

E-mail us at or tweet using #FundtheOcean.

Also, have you seen the 100&Change Solutions Bank? It features proposals submitted for 100&Change, a MacArthur Foundation competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. Check out the proposed solutions for ocean conservation.

Lastly, if any of you are attending this year's Peak Grantmaking Conference, we are hosting a session called “Not Your Regular 'Save the Whales' Campaign: Mapping Changemaking Campaigns”. The description is below and we would love to have you join this conversation. If you are interested, drop me an email!

And now for a couple key resources to get you fired up!


Not Your Regular 'Save the Whales' Campaign: Mapping Changemaking Campaigns
Monday, March 19, 1:30pm-2:45pm ET
Not only have philanthropists come up short on ocean conservation in recent years (just 1 percent of philanthropic funding since 2009 has gone to ocean projects), we also suffer from a lack of coordination. In 2017, Foundation Center, with an incredible group of partners, launched to address this problem. The site is an open-access information hub for what ocean conservation work is being done, who is doing it, where it is happening, and who is funding it. Now a year in, join us for an engaging panel discussion with grants managers from several key foundations to learn about how they are leveraging the power of this resource to inform their work. Like the oceans themselves, all our work is connected. And now is the time to renew our commitment to collaborate.

Top 20 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2017

Although it barely made headlines, 2017 saw international diplomats focus on ocean conservation—on solutions to the challenges of overfishing, pollution, and climate change. In June, in New York City, the UN hosted political, corporate, philanthropic, scientific, and nonprofit leaders at its first-ever Ocean Conference, where 1,414 commitments were made. And in October, the European Union hosted the 4th annual Our Ocean conference in Malta, gathering an equally illustrious crowd. At Our Ocean, there were 437 commitments, totaling over $8 billion in financial pledges. Out of all of those, here are the most exciting ocean conservation commitments of 2017.

Evian Joins Big Brands in Race to Bin Plastics
Evian became the latest big brand to turn its back on polluting plastics, pledging to make its water bottles from recycled materials by 2025. It joined British supermarket Iceland, coffee chain Costa and fast-food giant McDonald‘s, which have all announced similar decisions in the last month. The shift by some of the biggest high-street names answers widespread consumer disquiet over pollution, accelerated after popular British naturalist David Attenborough urged consumers to stop using plastic bottles and start protecting marine life in his “Blue Planet II” documentary series.

Strengthening Governance of Small-Scale Fisheries: An Initial Assessment of the Theory and Practice
Often hidden in national statistics, small-scale fisheries have been poorly measured at a global level, and in the past often ignored in states' policy making. Yet estimates suggest their aggregate global contribution to nutrition, food security and poverty eradication is massive. The most recent estimates available suggest that small-scale fisheries account for over 90 percent of the world's commercial fishers, processors and other persons employed along the value chain, equivalent to over 108 million people. This level of activity translates into a large portion of the global fish catch: an estimated 46 percent of the total and 38 percent of the fish caught in the ocean.

World Ocean Council Sustainable Ocean Summit – March 6 – 8, 2018
The World Ocean Council (WOC) will host the Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) under the theme, 'The Ocean Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14): Business Leadership and Business Opportunities'. SOS 2018 will aim to: advance the development of SDG targets and indicators being developed with and for the Ocean Business Community via the WOC; address the other SDGs and how they relate to the ocean and create the need for business leadership and opportunities for business growth and development; and build on the results and momentum of the UN Ocean/SDG 14 Conference (June 2017) and other ocean events of 2017 by bringing these to the unique SOS ocean industry conference.