Oceana was established in 2001 by a group of leading foundations — The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. In 1999, these foundations commissioned a study and discovered that less than 0.5 percent of all resources spent by environmental nonprofit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy — an appalling statistic. No organization was working exclusively to protect and restore the oceans on a global scale. To fill the gap, our founders created Oceana: an international organization focused solely on oceans, dedicated to achieving measurable change by conducting specific, science-based campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals.
The Ocean Law Project — also initiated by The Pew Charitable Trusts — was absorbed into Oceana in 2001 as Oceana’s legal arm. In 2002, Oceana merged with American Oceans Campaign, founded by actor and environmentalist Ted Danson, to more effectively address our common mission of protecting and restoring the world’s oceans.
Since its founding, Oceana has won more than 100 victories and protected more than one million square miles of ocean.
Oceana is dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans on a global scale.
Oceana seeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy, and abundant as they once were.
Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Our offices around the world work together to win strategic, directed campaigns that achieve measurable outcomes that will help make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant.
Oceans cover 71 percent of the globe, and they are as important to us as they are vast. Our oceans are home to most of the life on our planet and play a central role in the world's natural systems, like regulating our climate and absorbing carbon dioxide. They provide livelihoods to countless fishermen and others around the world. They also feed hundreds of millions of people and have the capacity to provide a healthy seafood meal to a billion people, every day. Unfortunately, the oceans are in trouble — scientists report that the amount of fish caught from the oceans began declining — for the first time in recorded history — just a few decades ago. Fortunately, we know how to fix things. Science-based fishery management — which establishes science-based catch limits, reduces bycatch and protects habitat — is helping the oceans rebound and recover where it is established. Oceana is dedicated to advocating for science-based fishery management and restoring the world's oceans.The Problem
The oceans are vast, but they are not immune to human influence. We have already altered or destroyed marine ecosystems and driven million-year-old species to the brink of extinction. According to a study published in Science, less than 4 percent of the oceans remain unaffected by human activity.