It’s a very exciting time here at Ocean Conservancy. We’re celebrating fifty years—five decades—of advocating for our ocean. I am honored to be at the helm of this incredible organization as we reflect on this important moment in our history and look forward to our future.
Ocean Conservancy has seen so much in the last 50 years—many victories and many challenges. But one thing is for sure: Our network of dedicated ocean advocates, including people like you, has grown tremendously. It’s thanks to you that we’re able to look back on all the ocean triumphs we’ve celebrated together over the years, and look forward to what comes next.
In honor of the last 50 years of ocean conservation, here are a few of the (many) highlights and current areas of work:
- We’ve acted on climate. Alongside dedicated partners, we’ve helped bring our ocean to the center of international discussions on climate solutions. Learn more about how we’re combatting climate change today.
- We’ve cultivated a strong community: We’re proud to have engaged generations of people through a shared love for the ocean to protect whales, clean up beaches and persuade elected representatives that the ocean matters. Join our online community on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
- We’ve fought for crucial legislation: Through the years, we’ve helped shape the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Marine Debris Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Read about one of our recent legislative victories, the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act.
- We’ve held people accountable for pollution: Following the devasting BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010, we worked alongside partners to hold BP accountable, resulting in $20.8 billion for the environmental damage settlement. Explore the timeline of the BP Deepwater Horizon recovery efforts.
- We’ve combatted plastic pollution: Through our International Coastal Cleanup® (ICC), we’ve engaged 17 million volunteers to tackle 350 million pounds of ocean trash. Join this year’s ICC at a cleanup location near you.
- We’re committed to ocean justice: As we rise to the climate crisis, Ocean Conservancy is incorporating an ocean justice lens across all our conservation initiatives. We’re dedicated to fair and equitable distribution of both the benefits of the ocean’s bounty and the burdens of its complex care. Explore our current ocean justice initiatives.
As tempting as it is to spend today reminiscing about the past, we also need to look to the future. Although we have seen some big challenges over the last five decades, we are likely to see even greater challenges in the next 50 years.
Despite this, I’ve never been more hopeful for the future of our ocean. More and more people are advocating for immediate climate action to protect each other and our ocean. We’re embarking on critical work to include more diverse voices and viewpoints in conservation. And we are witnesses to a generation of young people who are rising up to fight to live in a sustainable, just and equitable world.
In honor of our 50th anniversary, I hope you’ll join me in taking action to support ocean conservation. For five easy ways to help our ocean today, just remember the acronym O.C.E.A.N:
- Open an ocean conversation. One of the best ways to get loved ones to act for our ocean is to share stories of why you love the ocean and why it needs our help.
- Check the candidates. Whether it’s climate crisis, plastics or ocean justice, it’s not too early to find out where the candidates stand on the ocean issues that matter to you.
- Enjoy the ocean. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, simply enjoying a story, photo or video about the ocean reminds us of all it has to offer.
- Act for the ocean. Join us in a cleanup or check out our Action Center for more ways you can help right away.
- Now is the time—think about the future we want for our ocean, and what it takes to get there. By acting now, we can change the future.
I am honored to work alongside you and can’t wait to see what we achieve in the next chapter of Ocean Conservancy’s history. Thank you, as always, for your support. And thank you for joining us in celebrating this exciting and humbling milestone. Here’s to 50 more years!