Ocean Conservancy



The early 1970s saw the creation of key environmental agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as passage of a host of environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act. Into this setting, Ocean Conservancy was born in 1972, first as the Delta Corporation, then as the Center for Environmental Education, and later as the Center for Marine Conservation, before becoming Ocean Conservancy in 2001. In the early years, our work focused on species like whales, seals and sea turtles. While we were a part of many success stories, we realized we couldn’t protect species without protecting their habitat. So we thought bigger and shifted to a more ecosystem-based approach. We were also one of the first environmental organizations to engage industries in conservation—a key part of our mission to this day. Over the years, our mission grew and solidified to make us who we are now: a science-based organization that stands on the absolute conviction that each individual can make a positive difference for our ocean. In 1986, the International Coastal Cleanup was launched when an Ocean Conservancy volunteer organized a beach cleanup in South Padre Island, Texas. Since then, this effort has rippled out across the globe, and has grown into a much valued experience that hundreds of thousands of people look forward to each fall — with more joining each year. Last year alone, over one million volunteers participated in the International Coastal Cleanup.

Mission Statement

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Program Details

For nearly five decades, Ocean Conservancy has been an ocean advocate and a catalyst for change. During that time, we have helped develop and drive a sophisticated conversation about ocean health, pushing the global community to think beyond single species conservation to the more complex dynamics of ocean systems, climate change, resilience, pollution and development. Our understanding that the ocean faces unprecedented threats imbues our efforts with urgency, and fuels our commitment to build the world’s best team dedicated exclusively to ocean conservation. We work on: confronting ocean acidification, ocean-climate, protecting Florida, restoring the Gulf of Mexico, trash free seas, sustainable fisheries, protecting the Arctic, smart ocean planning and government relations.
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1300 19th Street NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
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