20 Best Ocean Conservation Organizations Changing the World

seals in ocean conservation organization

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The effects of an increasing human population have impacted nature both in land and sea.

Ocean conservation organizations along with environmental organizations have been created in response to helping bring awareness and hopefully protection amongst the planet.

As human beings living on this planet change starts with us. We can learn about the consequences of plastic use and also how to be better responsible travelers.

Through learning we can begin to develop alternatives that are less harmful to the environment.

We put a list together for you about the top ocean conservation organizations that are protecting our marine ecosystems.


What do Ocean Organizations do?

Ocean organizations are organizations that are dedicated to bringing both awareness and protection amongst our oceans. They are activists bringing change.

According to the National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine, the 50s and 60s were early movements in focus toward marine wildlife.

Later on through the years the United Nations would establish the Law of the Sea Convention. A universal law amongst many countries that would create ocean regulations.

There are many ocean organizations that exist as of present day. From coral reefs to whales and dolphins. Below is a list of different marine conservations.

blue whale fin
Photo by Jason Speck

Organizations Helping Blue Whales

Are you a whale and dolphin lover? Well, we are not the only one. These marine ocean conservation organization focus on these types of marine wildlife.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

This global organization focuses on 4 key missions:

  • Ending whale captivity
  • Reducing whale hunting
  • Protecting whale habitat
  • Helping prevention of whale and dolphin incidents

There are many ways you can become involved in helping. You can adopt a whale for a year. When you decide to adopt a whale you personalized updates from pictures and videos on how it is doing.

You can also support by purchasing from their shop. You can find items on here like reusable bags, eco-friendly kitchenware as well as books.

Check out their site at: Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Pacific Whale Foundation

Another marine conservation organization involved with whales is the Pacific Whale Foundation. 

Like most organizations who focus on bringing awareness amongst a cause they have managed to build a business out of it. They offer:

  • Snorkeling tours 
  • Whale watching
  • Ocean camps (children learn interactively about the oceans)
  • Sailing

These are a few ways that help support its mission. You can donate and even volunteer.

They also have a membership program that supports individual projects.

You can help fund for instance the children attending ocean camps or researchers studying whale habitats. 

Be sure to check out their site to learn more: Pacific Whale Foundation.

sea turtle ocean conservation organizations
Photo by Darren Lawrence 

Organizations Helping Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have experienced much threats recently due to humans. According to the Sea Turtle Conservation, Florida is home to many different species of turtles. So, it’s no surprise that these marine organizations are founded in Florida.

Sea Turtle Conservation

You can find the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Gainesville, Florida. 

This amazing non-profit organization was founded in 1959 by Josua B. Powers. They focus on:

  • Advocating of turtle extinction due to human pollution both in: beaches and oceans 
  • Monitoring turtle biology to better understand it’s habitat
  • Protecting turtle habitat through policies 

You can help support this organization by adopting an endangered turtle for yourself or someone else with donations starting at $30. 

They also have a shop that features shirts, hats, and enamel pins that you can purchase for if interested. Anything purchased goes back into supporting this non-profit organization. 

Amazon will donate 0.05% for any purchases as well bought on their AmazonSmile store. 

You can learn more about them at their site: Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Loggerhead MarineLife Center

Was founded by Floridian resident Eleanor Fletcher. Who witnessed turtle habitat destruction as construction grew across her hometown shorelines. 

Today, this organization offers: 

  • Outreach programs
  • Summer camp
  • Veterinary Hospital
  • Resource center

There are several ways people can participate through beach cleanups that are organized every third Saturday of the month in Juno Beach, Florida. As well as sea turtle adoptions.

You can learn more at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. 

SEE Turtles

Founded in 2008 it is a non-profit organization that is located in Beaverton, Oregon. 

One of their main focuses is protecting endangered sea turtles in Latin America. Their program Billion Baby Turtles was created to help support beaches where turtle hatching occurs. 

They offer several turtle conservation trips in:

  • Galapagos 
  • Colola, Mexico  
  • Baja, Mexico 
  • Belize 

The trips range from 5-7 days. Each trip book allows continuation of the organization’s mission. You can learn more through their site: SEE Turtles. 

shark marine organization
Photo by David Clode 


According to National Geographics, over 100 million sharks are slaughtered yearly. These are some organizations that are fighting for change to help end shark killing. 

Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation

Is a charity that is located in the U.K. It serves to help:

  • Educate risks of overfishing and shark killings
  • Eliminate shark consumption amongst restaurants
  • Motivate marine environment importance

According to Bite-Back the extinction of sharks would leave an impact on the ocean’s ecosystem.

For sharks play an important role in helping regulate the food chain. 

You can help through fundraising and purchasing from their shop. Learn more by visiting: Bite-Back Shark 


Is a marine conservation organization that focuses on sharks, skates, and rays. These are some projects they are involved in: 

  • Shark Finning Campaign
  • Citizen Science
  • Shark Research

Through spreading awareness and cooperative partners they continue to be a voice for sharks.

 They have increased support amongst 27 countries and have conducted over hundreds of research data.

 You can help by participating in adopting a shark as well as becoming a member. Check out their site at: Shark Trust

ocean organizations in california
Photo by Joseph Barrientos 

Ocean Conservation Organizations in California

California is home to many marine conservation organizations. Below we got a list of some organizations that are found in California.

Coral Reef Alliance

Founded in 1994 by Stephen Colwell and Anne Schulman it’s main mission is to bring awareness and protection to the oceans coral reefs. 

They take on 5 important areas of focus:

  • Healthy Fisheries for Reefs
  • Clean Water for Reefs
  • Intact Reef Ecosystems
  • Science of Adaptation
  • Adaptive Reefscapes 

With these areas of focus you can bring awareness to the local communities of the important role that coral reefs have in the oceans. 

As well as address the consequences of overfishing that have led to its destruction. The goal is to inspire people to create better preventative measures to the extinction of the oceans coral reefs.

Honduras, Fiji, and Hawaii are some countries that they have worked in. You can learn more about them at their site: Coral Reef Alliance.

Ocean Sanctuaries

This non-profit organization focuses on:

  • Ocean citizen science
  • Education
  • Outreach

Founded by Michael and Barbara they use documentary filmmaking along contributing data research by volunteers to help become a Open Source model to researchers.

They offer several courses such as the Marine Citizen Science Certification which is free of charge. You will learn how to collect data relating the marine environment as well as learning to conduct REEF surveys.

There are Facebook groups in which you can participate with finding dive buddies, and asking questions.

Becoming a citizen scientist you are able to help scientist better understand the marine environments through data collecting and in turn help protect it.

You can learn more about them by checking out their homepage: Ocean Sanctuaries

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

This non-profit located in Laguna Beach focuses on helping nurture injured marine wildlife which are later released back into their ocean home. Some of their current patients include the following species:

  • California Sea Lions
  • Northern Elephant Seals
  • Pacific Harbor Seals
  • Northern Fur Seals

Some of these species have suffered malnourishment and have been injured through fish hooks or puncture wounds.

They also offer several programs in which you can help sponsor or participate in volunteering.

For instance, Sea Lions for Service Members is a program aimed at military service members to participate in assisting with rescue and rehabilitation of marine wildlife.

You can learn more about them on their site: Pacific Marine Mammal Center


Another organization involved with coral reefs is the Reef Check. 

It was founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson. They have 3 programs that they focus on:

  • Reef Check California 
  • Tropical EcoDriver 
  • Ocean Education 

Through volunteers and scientists they help survey the coral reefs around the coast of California. 

By better understanding coral reef destruction they are able to come up with better sustainable solutions in recovery.

The goal is to bring better collaboration and management. You can learn more about them by visiting their site: Reef Check

ocean pollution marine organizations
Photo by Brian Yurasits 

Organizations Helping with Ocean Pollution

There is no doubt that increasing plastic pollution is becoming a problem both to humans and wildlife. 

You can find videos on Youtube with wildlife getting caught up in plastic waste along with studies indicating plastic particles found in drinking water. 

These are some organizations trying to help with ocean pollution.


Was founded by 2 surfers who witnessed ocean pollution while surfing. They created this profit organization to bring awareness to the pollution that goes into the oceans and coming up with ways in cleaning it up. 


  • Recycled plastic bracelets 
  • T-shirts and hats
  • Tote Bags

They are able to help fund their cleaning crew. They have participated in Bali, Florida, Haiti, and Guatemala cleaning up waste found in these shores. 

They are heavenly involved in their marketing in getting their message across. Often being in TV advertisements and Youtube. You can learn more at their site: 4Ocean

The Ocean Cleanup

This ocean conservation organization is pretty inspiring. It was founded by Dutch then 18 year old Boyan Slat.

This non-profit develops technologies that help remove plastic from the oceans.

Made up of engineers, inventors, and activists, their focus through partnerships and developing equipment to help solve ocean pollution. They have invented two products:

  • Interceptor
  • Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Interceptor is a solar-powered vessel that contains a conveyor belt that extracts plastic from the rivers. 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains a floater that is able to capture ocean debris and think of it like a big net. 

You can learn more about them through: The Ocean Clean Up

Project AWARE 

Founded in 1989 that was founded by scuba divers. It has since expanded into many scuba diver volunteers spreading awareness of marine conservation. Their current projects include:

  • Shark Protection 
  • Marine Debris

They also have diving classes in which you can be certified and be an ambassador. You can also help support this organization by purchasing their apparel.

Which is eco-friendly and made from 100% cotton and product in a solar facility. Learn more by visiting their site: Project Aware.

non profit ocean organizations


These are some ocean organizations that are non-profit. Formed from those who don’t rely on profit. These are their stories.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

This non-profit was founded by Captain Paul Watson in 1977. Currently, there are 6 campaigns that they focus on:

  • Saving the Vaquita Porpoise
  • Preventing Illegal Fishing
  • Protection of Salmon
  • Cuvier Beaked Whale Research
  • Protection of Sea Turtles
  • Ocean Cleanups

They have strongly opposed Japan’s whaling. In 2008 they decided to look for alternative methods to help decrease Japan’s participation in whaling due to strong military increase.

You can learn more from them by visiting their website.

Ocean Conservancy

This marine organization helps to protect the oceans through advocacy by research. These are just a few of some of their projects they are working on:

  • Protection of Artic
  • Climate Change
  • Ocean Acification
  • Sustainable Fisheries

They advocate for opposing Donald Trump’s allowal of offshore drilling. And you can help by participating in being an ambassador for the Ocean Conservancy.

They also schedule International Coastal Cleanups picking up trash debris from the beaches. Learn more by visiting their site: Ocean Conservancy

Marine Conservation Institute

This ocean conservation organization was founded by marine scientist Dr. Elliott Norse. 

After witnessing lack of awareness in ocean protection he would go on to publish Global Biological Diversity advocating marine conservation. 

Currently, they focus on several programs:

  • Coral Conservation
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Ocean Governance 
  • Monitoring and Enforcement

By discovering and understanding more the ocean’s vast waters they are able to help government officials understand more the importance of the sea.

Leading to more protective measures of the ocean. 

You can become involved by becoming an Ocean Guardian in which as well as shopping at their shop. Visit their website at: Marine Conservation Institute


Another organization involved with coral reefs is the Reef Check. 

It was founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson. They have 3 programs that they focus on:

  • Reef Check California 
  • Tropical EcoDriver 
  • Ocean Education 

Through volunteers and scientists they help survey the coral reefs around the coast of California. 

By better understanding coral reef destruction they are able to come up with better sustainable solutions in recovery. The goal is to bring better collaboration and management.

You can learn more about them by visiting their site: Reef Check

National Marine Mammal Foundation

Located in San Diego as well as South Carolina this non-profit focuses on: 

  • Marine Mammal Care
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Biologic and Bioacoustic Research
  • Conservation Medicine

To help bring awareness and protection to marine wildlife. They also use filmmaking as well. 

Amongst one of their films worth watching is the “Sea of Shadows” which Leonardo DiCaprio executively produced. 

You can learn more by visiting their website: National Marine Mammal Foundation

Oceanic Preservation Society

This ocean marine organization focuses on creating films to expose events that are happening around the planet. 

For instance, The Cove is a documentary covering the yearly slaughtering of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Some partner campaigns are:

  • Ending Shark Fin Trade
  • Ending Wildlife Killing
  • Defending Endangered Species Coalition 
  • Supporting Leuser Ecosystem

They have a shop in which you can help to support their movement along with donating.

You can learn more about them by visiting their homepage: Oceanic Preservation Society

Ocean Conservation Organizations Pin 2


The impact of human pollution amongst the oceans are affecting marine wildlife and the sea.

Ocean conservation organizations are helping bring a voice to the importance and consequences of human actions.

Together we can support these ocean conservation organizations in bringing awareness. If you ever get a chance, volunteer or help donate at these places.

Let us know in the comments below what are some of your favorite ocean conservation organizations. 

Ocean Conservation Organizations Pin 1

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  1. Kay Lipman

    In Spring of 2023, the Japanese government has decided to dump 1.4 billion tons of virtually untreated waste into the Pacific Ocean. This is a measure of expediency as this water could be treated to render less harmfull the radioactivity. But it has been deemed as an unnecessary expense by the Japanese government. This dumping will irradiate all life in this magnificent ocean as well as harming all human and animal populations that come in contact with the Pacific Ocean. This is not a local problem but a world problem which I have been trying to alert the general public to with no success. Could we create a petition or do some publicity so that the Japanese will have to rethink in order to save face? Please help with this urgent problem.
    Many thanks,
    Kay Lipman

    • Jess and Jeanette

      Hi, Kay, thanks for your concern! I think it’s important to bring awareness to help protect our environment. There is a petition on this already (we recommend you sign it as well if you haven’t had a chance): https://chng.it/jdNpN2Ljsk. We signed and donated, but will pass this along with our audience. -Jess


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