Category Archives: Marine Conservation

When entering the marine conservation space in 2010, a handful of gaps were identified as creating barriers to more effective impact: 1) smaller foundations often have inadequate internal deep domain expertise, leading to subpar investments, 2) those same foundations are hungry to fund bigger projects than they can do on their own, 3) larger foundations can’t always be as ‘opportunistic’ as they’d like to be internally,  and 4) there was an overall lack of collaboration amongst marine conservation groups. Oceans 5, launched on the Mission Blue Voyage with the Oak Foundation and Planet Heritage Foundation, was created to help address these issues.

Oceans 5

Co-founded Oceans 5, a global funders collaborative committed to improving conservation of the world’s five oceans.

Oceans 5’s first multi-year grant in 2011 resulted in the creation of the largest marine protected area on the planet in 2016: the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

The collaborative gives new and experienced funders an effective platform to collectively target their assets towards solutions for greater impact and scale. There are currently fifteen Oceans 5 partners including Planet Heritage Foundation, Packard Foundation, Oak Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Waitt Foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Marisla Foundation, the Moore Charitable Trust, the Angell Family Foundation, the Joy Family Foundation, the Tiffany & Co Foundation, and the Wyss Foundation.

Oceans 5 has been extremely influential in facilitating and supporting effective NGO collaborations for bigger impact and scale.

Under the guidance of 30-year veteran Chuck Fox and a small staff, Oceans 5 manages a portfolio of projects vetted at the highest levels, with the most exceptional level of oversight and reporting, to ensure members clear and measurable impacts.

05 was highlighted in the Social Stanford Innovation Review as one of the standout donor collaboratives in the social change space, as well as featured in Variety and

Projects and impacts to date here with a few highlights below.


  • First multi-year grant in 2011 resulted in the creation of the largest marine protected area on the planet in 2016: the Ross Sea in Antarctica.
  • Small, 6-month grant to Hawaii-based coalition to develop grass roots support for President Obama’s expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument resulted in a fully protected area of over 1 million square kilometers (larger than two California’s) in the fall of 2014.
  • Small 8-month grant to UK coalition in advance of the 2015 UK elections to shape the platforms of the major parties and support the designation of fully protected areas around Pitcairn and Ascension Islands (collectively, these two will be about 800,000 square kilometers).
  • Two-year grant to support the first-ever debt for nature swap in the Seychelles, resulting in 200,000 square kilometers of fully protected areas and an additional 200,000 square kilometers of a marine protected area.
  • Five-year grant to support the implementation of new Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati, a fully protected area of about 400,000 square kilometers.


  • Three-year grant to create new IUU policy in the US, including a new regulation mandating seafood traceability.
  • Three-year grant to combat illegal fishing in Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia, which produced a new radar station at Cocos Island, new electronic fishing vessel monitoring programs and increases in enforcement activity in all three countries.


  • 18-month grant to list 5 species of threatened sharks to CITES Appendix II to regulate trade in shark products from these species for the first time.

The Mission Blue Voyage

The Mission Blue Voyage

In 2010, the Mission Blue Voyage, funded by Planet Heritage Foundation (PHF), brought together over 100 influential scientists, philanthropists, activists, and celebrities seeking smart collaborations and solutions in restoring the health of the oceans.

Oceans 5 was launched on the voyage with $10 million initially committed by PHF and Oak Foundation.

Today, Oceans 5 has 11 partners, including PHF, Oak Foundation, Waitt Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.