Announcing Ocean Conservancy’s First Ocean Justice Community Grants Awardees

Advancing ocean justice from coast to coast

Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Justice team is proud to announce the first Ocean Justice Community Grants cohort. Ocean Justice Community Grants are a critical part of our commitment to ocean justice, which we define as the fair and equitable distribution of both the benefits of the ocean’s bounty and the burdens of its complex care. Climate change and ocean injustice present dual crises that disproportionately impact marginalized coastal and ocean communities. These crises cannot be solved without simultaneously addressing the systemic social and economic inequalities that make those impacts disproportionate, including a lack of available funding to help support local ocean advocates in their fight. The Ocean Justice Community Grants are Ocean Conservancy’s contribution to righting this wrong by applying resources that amplify and uplift the work of historically marginalized ocean advocates.

We are committing resources to spotlight and amplify the excellent conservation work led by frontline community members and to connect these grantees to Ocean Conservancy’s network as well as to each other. In addition, these grants aim to cultivate a space for empowerment and expertise-sharing among grantees, as well as for the creation of authentic partnerships as we all work together to seek innovative solutions to climate and ocean challenges at the local level. These recipient organizations are advancing ocean justice in one or more of the following areas:

  • Strengthening coastal communities
  • Promoting sustainable fishing and traditional Indigenous practices
  • Protecting communities’ connections to the ocean
  • Advancing ocean innovations
  • Developing new ocean leaders

Ocean Conservancy thanks each of the amazing organizations that applied through our first—and very competitive—Ocean Justice Community Grants cycle. There is so much good work being done from coast to coast.

We are pleased to introduce this year’s ocean champions and inaugural Ocean Justice Community Grants awardees:

Diving with a Purpose:  Washington, D.C and Key Biscayne, Florida

Diving With a Purpose (DWP) is a community-focused nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of submerged heritage resources by providing education, training, certification and field experience to adults and youth in the fields of maritime archaeology and ocean conservation. A special focus of DWP is the protection, documentation and interpretation of African slave trade shipwrecks and the maritime history and culture of African Americans who formed a core of labor and expertise for America’s maritime enterprises.

Gullah / Geechee Angel Network & Gullah/ Geechee Sea Island Coalition: St. Helena, North Carolina

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition advocates for the rights of all Gullah/Geechee people while promoting the preservation of Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, culture and language. The coalition continues its work for land reclamation and maintenance for coastal communities that have thrived from North Carolina to Florida for more than 300 years.

Kua’aina Ulu Auamo: Kaneohe, Hawaii

Kua’aina Ulu Auamo (KUA) works to empower Native Hawaiian and rural communities to improve their quality of life through the care of their environmental heritage to better Hawaiʻi and achieve “āina momona”— an abundant, productive ecological system that supports community well-being. KUA employs a community‐driven approach that supports three statewide networks: 1) E Alu Pū (landscape restoration), 2) Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa (fishpond caretakers) and 3) the Limu Hui (native seaweed gatherers). The organization’s collective network efforts touch more than 70 nearshore communities statewide.

OceansAlaska: Ketchikan, Alaska

OceansAlaska’s ongoing holistic projects focus on preparing young people to become the next generation of ocean and community leaders through mariculture hatchery/nursery training, research and development. By combining Western science and Indigenous values, OceansAlaska is creating multidisciplined ocean champions. The organization provides educational and social opportunities through local National Ocean Science Bowl teams and hatchery/farm internships for high school students.

University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Science: Miami, Florida

Dr. Maria Cartolano and Dr. Jill Richardson lead the Ocean Kids Project, which is designed to engage and inspire the children from local neighborhoods who are disproportionately affected by pollution and other environmental stressors, by providing otherwise inaccessible access to hands-on STEM activities through the lens of the ocean. With this grant we hope to achieve the goal of working collaboratively with the target schools during the spring semester to develop lesson plans and activities that address the coastal issues most relevant to their communities, culminating in an outdoor event, hosted at the Rosenstiel campus.

Thank you again to all who applied for our initial grant cycle. We encourage you to apply for the next grant cycle in Fall 2023. Learn more about the program and its requirements here.

Browse Topics
Our work is focused on solving some of the greatest threats facing our ocean today. We bring people, science and policy together to champion innovative solutions and fight for a sustainable ocean.
Read more
View Current Posts
Back to Top Up Arrow