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Ocean Currents

49 Years of Advocating for Our Ocean

On our 49th anniversary, I am hopeful for the future of our ocean

OceanImageBank_JayneJenkins_Tahiti_09
© Jayne Jenkins/ Ocean Image Bank

Today we’re celebrating our 49th anniversary. That’s almost five decades of working towards a clean, healthy, sustainable ocean.

I am humbled when I think about all Ocean Conservancy has seen and accomplished since 1972.

We’ve celebrated incredible ocean victories like establishing fishery catch limits to prevent overfishing in the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act in 2006 and the first International Coastal Cleanup™ in 1986. We’ve witnessed mind-blowing ocean discoveries, like new bioluminescent sharks and ancient fossils that illustrate what the ocean looked like eons ago.

We’ve also seen great challenges facing our ocean, like the increasing effects of climate change, the infamous BP oil spill in 2010 and a rapidly changing Arctic ecosystem. To be honest, it’s easy to let the challenges facing our ocean feel overwhelming. But in those moments, I am inspired by our dedicated staff, partners and supporters like you—I know that together, we can achieve our dream of a healthy ocean.

One thing that has become very clear in the last 49 years: ocean conservation is about so much more than our ocean.

It’s about protecting the air we breathe and the food we eat. It’s about dismantling systemic racism and pushing for climate justice in the face of a rapidly changing planet. It’s about standing up for the democratic process and rights of all people regardless of which political party is in office.

But despite our challenges, I’ve never been more hopeful for the future of our ocean. More and more people are advocating for their governments, employers and the private sector to take immediate climate action to protect each other and our ocean. We’re having critically important conversations about the importance of diverse voices and viewpoints in conservation. And we are witness to a generation of young people who seek to live in a sustainable, just and equitable world.

I couldn’t talk about our future—or our past—without talking about YOU.

Our dedicated supporters are joined by a love of our ocean, and we could not do our work without you. It’s because of you that we can look ahead with confidence and excitement.

I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished in 49 years. And I can’t wait to see what the next 49 bring.

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