PLATINUM2024

SYLVIA EARLE ALLIANCE MISSION BLUE

Protect the ocean as if your life depends on it, because it does.

aka Mission Blue   |   Napa, CA   |  www.mission-blue.org

Mission

Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean.

Ruling year info

2008

President and Co-chair

Dr. Sylvia Earle

COO and Treasurer

Mr. Waldo Martin

Main address

PO Box 6882 None

Napa, CA 94801 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Deep Search Foundation

Mission Blue Foundation

EIN

26-1892969

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Climate change, pollution, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and overfishing are just some of the major threats facing our ocean. The ocean is clearly being harmed, both by what people have been putting into it and by what we have been taking out, especially since the mid-20th century. Trouble for the ocean means trouble for all of life on Earth, birds, and humans very much included. And the pace of this trouble is accelerating. The human population has more than doubled since the 1950s, and while people are living longer and generally better than ever before, this apparent prosperity has come at a cost. On the land, natural systems and the diverse forms of life they contain have declined precipitously. In the sea, about half of the coral reefs, kelp forests, and sea-grass meadows have disappeared along with 90 percent of many kinds of fish, squid, and other ocean wildlife. Only 7% of the ocean has any protection at all, and it is Mission Blue's goal to change this.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Hope Spots

Mission Blues Hope Spot program continues to expand, not only through the work of community groups and NGOs, but also within the global ocean science community. Hope Spots represent the first step in the process towards protection for many cases. At present, the Mission Blue Hope Spot Council has designated 160 Hope Spots and counting.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We recently set best-ever records for two of our three key performance indicators: online donations and followers. For our third Key Performance Indicator, engagements, 2023 was our best year on record after 2020, a year that cross-industry saw a massive engagement spike due to worldwide lockdowns.

Beyond our core work of promoting Hope Spots, running fundraising campaigns, and supporting partnerships, we have seen the completion of two major projects. We completed the Hope Spot Information Platform, and it is now live on our website. Hundreds of hours of work went into this from several team members, and we are very excited about what we have achieved and the firm footing we have to grow the platform into the future. Also, all of Mission Blues digital data is now housed on four redundant servers and optimized for data security.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Mission Blue Expeditions are short duration trips, typically two weeks or less, that vary in size and scope. They are designed to create awareness, foster partnerships, and build public support for the creation of Hope Spots and Ocean protection across the globe.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

IUCN 2010

United Nations 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

With a total of 160 Hope Spots launched, Mission Blue added 13 Hope Spots in 2023.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Hope Spots

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Mission Blue, the nonprofit founded by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, is on a mission to inspire action to explore and protect the ocean. At the heart of Mission Blue's work is the conviction that the ocean is essential to all life on Earth - it provides the oxygen we breathe, regulates our climate, and so much more. The ocean faces unprecedented threats from overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. Mission Blue recognizes that to secure a healthy future for our blue planet, we must take urgent action now to safeguard marine ecosystems.

The overarching goal of Mission Blue is to protect 30% of the global ocean by 2030 through a network of highly protected marine areas, incubated by "Hope Spots." These are special places, scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean. Some Hope Spots are already protected, while others still need defined protection. By shining a light on these places through exploration, scientific research, and creative communication, Mission Blue aims to galvanize support for marine conservation efforts worldwide.

Working in 65 countries, Mission Blue collaborates with local communities, NGOs, scientists, business leaders, and governments to accelerate ocean protection and achieve the 30x30 target. This ambitious goal aligns with targets set at the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference, where nations agreed to protect a third of Earth's lands and oceans by 2030 to address the interconnected biodiversity and climate crises.

To advance conservation in key areas, Mission Blue partners with organizations like The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, Blue Marine Foundation, and many others. By leveraging their expertise and resources, Mission Blue helps catalyze the creation and expansion of marine protected areas in places like the Arctic, Mexico, Panama, Chile, South Africa, Antarctica, and the High Seas.

Mission Blue also supports the work of "Hope Spot Champions" - local conservation leaders spearheading protection efforts for each Hope Spot. Through capacity development workshops, community exchanges, supporting grants, and spotlighting their stories, Mission Blue builds a global wave of public and political support.

Creative media and expeditions are another way Mission Blue builds wonder and drives action. Expeditions to Hope Spots capture cinema-quality footage of underwater marvels and threats like plastic pollution. The images and stories shared through films, books, exhibits, and online platforms, put a face to the biodiversity crisis and inspire the public to care.

By uniting grassroots and global efforts, Mission Blue aims to catalyze transformative ocean conservation. With a proven model of community-driven protection through Hope Spots, an unwavering commitment to science, and a message of hope, Mission Blue is driving progress toward a thriving ocean for all. Because as Dr. Earle wisely says, "No ocean, no life. No ocean, no us."

Mission Blue supports the Hope Spot Initiative in the following ways:

1. Hope Spots- We have created 160 Hope Spots and Mission Blue along with our Hope Spot Champions are working to create awareness and push for protection in these areas.

2. Outreach/Education- Dr. Earle attends more than 250 speaking engagements annually. She is invited to nearly 500 meetings or speaking events and continues to meet with presidents and governments to address the need for protection of the ocean. Dr. Earle's outreach is leveraged through social and traditional media; building momentum on a mass scale; which is invaluable to the larger conservation community.

3. Expeditions- Mission Blue conducts expeditions to Hope Spots and documents what we find. These short-duration trips create global awareness, foster meaningful partnerships, and build community support for marine conservation and Hope Spots.

Dr.Sylvia Earle is the worlds most powerful voice for communicating the urgent need for ocean protection and in support of her work, MissionBlue continues to rally action. Over the past several years MissionBlue has grown significantly with over 225 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations signed on as partners.

We are also witnessing a global validation for Hope Spots. To date, MissionBlue has designated 160 Hope Spots and counting. Mission Blue will launch a new Hope Spot Information Platform this year which aims to accelerate ocean protection in the Hope Spot global community using the latest in mapping technology.

Referring to the same results as the above questions, we have seen progress in all of our programs. Over the past several years MissionBlue has grown significantly with over 250 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations signed on as partners. MissionBlues social media has reached an important milestone. 2023 was one of Mission Blue's strongest years with the number of new Hope Spots designated and with action from champions and partners in these Hope Spots. The Champions and Partners are engaged and actively working
on a variety of actions to expand ocean protection and conservation in each Hope Spot. With all of the threats facing the ocean, our work is now more important than ever; we are inspiring community action in Hope Spots around the world. Interest in Hope Spots continued to expand, not only with local groups and NGOs but also within the ocean science community globally.

Hope Spots represent the first step in the process towards protection for many cases. In others, it is helping to push for a management plan for a protected area already designated by a government or doubling down with support for protected areas in light of regular changes in government administrations that inevitably take place over time. The flow of nominations is steady, and the Hope Spot Advisory Council, designated 13 new Hope Spots in 2023.

We will work with these communities over the upcoming year to develop local protection efforts including outreach, policy, science programs and ultimately government action. In 2024, Mission Blue will continue to scale up community engagement.

Our goals for 2024 and beyond are:

Continue to work towards protection in Hope Spots
Increase Hope Spots
Recruit Hope Spot Champions and create boundaries
for early designated Hope Spots
Develop effective methods to support Hope Spots,
individually and collectively, and raise awareness
and support communities directly
Leverage Dr. Earles's voice via videos and social media
to support local efforts
Monitor and report success for all Hope Spots

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

SYLVIA EARLE ALLIANCE MISSION BLUE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SYLVIA EARLE ALLIANCE MISSION BLUE

Board of directors
as of 03/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Sylvia Earle

Mission Blue


Board co-chair

Mr. John Vermilye

Gallifrey Foundation

Term: 2019 - 2024

Sylvia Earle

National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence

Linda Glover

Marine Scientist

Shari Sant Plummer

Code Blue Foundation

Shannon O�Leary

EarthSense Foundation

Robert Nixon

True Blue Films

Sharon Kwok

AquaMeridian Foundation

Will Travis

Elevation Barn

John Vermilye

Gallifrey Foundation

Dona Bertarelli

Bertarelli Foundation

Vasser Seydel

Turner Foundation

Gabrielle McGee

Tory Burch Foundation

Hussain Aga Khan

FocusedonNature

Philippe Prufer

SKP Investimentos and AIEP

Nicola Esposito

Real Estate Investments

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/13/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/01/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.