New portal for ocean conservation funding

Ocean conservationists and their supporters can now track funding for marine protection activities through a new online portal, The site provides information for those grappling with an increasingly complex landscape in their work to improve the condition of the ocean and its inhabitants.

With funding support from six foundations, Foundation Center unveiled the portal in April.

It offers free access to data on philanthropic, US federal, bi/multilateral aid grants, and crowdsourced information about grassroots marine conservation organizations, enabling users to see data on who is working on ocean conservation around the world.

Current figures indicate that while the ocean covers 71 per cent of the earth’s surface, less than 1 per cent of all philanthropic funding has gone to support it since 2009.

‘This is a critical moment for the ocean,’ said Bradford K. Smith, president of Foundation Center. ‘The decisions we make now will shape the ocean’s future, and the future of the lives and livelihoods of those that depend on it.’

Humpback Whale fluke. Photo credit: Eladio Fernandez

Users of the site will be able to find funders, recipients and grants displayed by geographic area. This data can help spur collaboration and maximize conservation efforts.

For example, users could potentially benchmark open data on marine protection funding to help them learn from the successes and failures of their peers; identify new ideas and approaches; and increase access to and awareness of conservation efforts.

Eight case studies and a curated report collection featuring major conservation funders including the Walton Family Foundation and the Packard Foundation have also been created so that users can learn more about what’s working and what we’re learning about funding the ocean.

For more information, see

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