Today Ocean Conservancy turns 40 years old. That’s quite the milestone when you think about how we got started. (View a slideshow of our history.)
Founded in the midst of the nascent environmental movement in 1972, Ocean Conservancy began as a small organization focused on securing grants for environmental educators. Now we are recognized as a leader in empowering citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean.
For 40 years, Ocean Conservancy has found success by relying upon science to inform our work and partnering with unexpected allies ranging from fishing communities to major businesses to a global network of volunteers. However, there is still much work to be done.
We are witnesses to a complex world, where we must engage competing ocean interests, restore important habitats and confront the reality that our ocean is changing rapidly. If we hope to protect the planet’s valuable marine resources in the decades to come, we must work together to ensure that the things we all love about the ocean – wildlife like whales, dolphins and seabirds; the beaches we roam; the waves we surf and sail; and the seafood we enjoy – are protected.
Now that Ocean Conservancy is celebrating 40 years of making the ocean matter, we are building a vision for the next four decades.
When we think about the ocean in 2050, we imagine our nation’s fisheries and coastal economies thriving and sustainable, supporting well-paying jobs, providing for recreation and supplying the world with healthy seafood.
We believe our goal of trash free seas will become a reality and that solutions-focused partnerships with industry, government, science and conservation leaders will create a culture in which trash is too valuable to toss.
Our future ocean includes a revitalized Gulf of Mexico region, restored in earnest after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, and an Arctic that is vibrant because we took the time to use sound science to make smart decisions about offshore drilling and other uses. The vital coastal communities of the West Coast will be flourishing and our underwater parks off the coast of California will be robust with life after being protected for decades.
When it comes to making decisions about our shared ocean, we envision a future where stakeholders play an important role in a comprehensive planning process that helps avoid conflict and conserves precious resources. We foresee our decision-makers being influenced by unwavering public support for ocean health and making science-based conservation a priority.
We truly believe this vision for a healthy ocean in 2050 is achievable, but only with your continued support. I invite you to share with us your own vision for a more prosperous and beautiful ocean. What does your ocean look like in 40 years?