MARINE CONSERVATION BIOLOGY INSTITUTE

aka Marine Conservation Institute   |   Seattle, WA   |  www.marine-conservation.org

Mission

Marine Conservation Institute is dedicated to securing permanent, strong protection for the oceans' most important places – for us and future generations. Marine ecosystems are essential for our survival, wealth and well-being, and are the Earth's biggest life support system. As a leader in the global movement to protect and recover the integrity of vast ocean areas, we use the latest science to identify important ecosystems and advocate for their protection. We work to identify key threats to our oceans and build workable solutions. We are a major catalyst in recovering our blue planet, the most urgent challenge of our time. Blue Parks and Marine Protection Atlas are our largest initiatives designed to catalyze and support strong protection for at least 30% of the ocean by 2030.

Ruling year info

1996

Principal Officer

Dr. Lance E. Morgan

Main address

1914 N 34th Street Suite 400

Seattle, WA 98103-9090 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Marine Conservation Biology Institute

EIN

91-1725640

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

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

Marine Conservation Institute is dedicated to securing permanent, strong protection for the oceans’ most important places – for us and future generations. To achieve this, the Global Ocean Refuge System and the Atlas of Marine Protection were launched. The ocean is the Earth’s biggest life support system — the oxygen for every second breath we take comes from it. Healthy marine ecosystems are essential for human survival, wealth and well-being. As a leader in the global movement to protect vast ocean areas, Marine Conservation Institute uses the latest science to identify important marine ecosystems and advocate for their protection. Given the challenges our blue planet faces today, accomplishing our mission, is more important now, than ever before!

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?

Blue Parks

Blue Parks is one of Marine Conservation Institutes strategic priorities. It is our long-term, science-based, collaborative and international effort designed to catalyze strong protection for at least 30% of the ecosystems in each marine biogeographic region of the world’s oceans by 2030 ― enough to safeguard all marine species from extinction. Most of our programs tie-in some way to Blue Parks.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Coral reefs are spectacular, diverse, ecosystems that are home to thousands of different species. Coral reefs have been termed ‘the rainforests of the sea’ because they support a vast abundance and diversity of different plants and animals, more species than any other marine ecosystem, with more still being discovered.
Coral reefs are threatened by fishing, climate change, and development, and are having trouble all around the world. With sufficient effort and political will, most of the direct impacts to coral reefs can be alleviated.  
Marine Conservation Institute works to protect coral reef  ecosystems so that they will be around for generations to come. We have worked to establish large marine protected areas that will protect tropical coral reefs. We have also spent years studying deep-sea corals and advocating for their protection.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The ocean is not just one uniform expanse of water, there are many diverse and unique places in the ocean that are different than any other place in the world. There are forests where algae grow as tall as redwood trees, deep sea coral reefs live hundreds of years, and seamounts provide foraging hotspots for whales, turtles and fishes.
Many places in US waters rival the beauty and diversity of some of our cherished national parks on land, such as Yellowstone, the Everglades, and the Grand Canyon. These parks are held in trust and set aside for the greater good so that their beauty and wonder can be experienced by anyone who wishes to see them for generations yet to come.
The concept of protecting areas in the sea is relatively new to scientists and policy makers alike, and we are still learning how to best manage these areas to balance human use and maintain healthy ecosystems. Research from protected areas throughout the world, notably the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, has clearly demonstrated the value of protected areas to enhancing marine life as the protection that was put in place years ago is now resulting in thriving ecosystems.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are some of the simplest of marine management tools that can offer some of the highest gains in terms of marine conservation.  By removing some uses from a marine environment, certain ecosystems can regain their actual function, populations can be bolstered and habitats protected.  Currently, MPAs cover barely more than 1 percent of the world’s oceans. Marine Conservation Institute's ambitious goal is to protect 10% of our ocean by 2020.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The largest, least-protected places on our blue planet are found in the high seas – the open ocean and deep seabed areas that lie beyond national jurisdictions.  They cover about 45% of the Earth’s surface, and 64% of the oceans.  Belonging to no single nation, they have been, for too long, neglected by all.
The high seas are home to great whales, sea turtles, seabirds, tunas, and sharks that traverse entire ocean basins in search of food.  They house deep-dwelling fishes and invertebrate animals that live long, slow-motion lives in eternal darkness. High seas biodiversity is threatened by fishing, climate change and other human-caused impacts.  These losses are also our losses, as they threaten the ability of the oceans to sustain marine life and support human societies.
The global community, through the United Nations, has decided that key high seas ecosystems should be protected. Both the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have developed criteria to identify ecologically important and vulnerable areas in the high seas.  Never before has there been such an opportunity, and Marine Conservation Institute is taking a leadership role. Ensuring the high seas have a voice, we are working with the global scientific community to provide the information necessary to international authorities for making meaningful lasting decisions.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We work to ensure effective ocean management and governance for our marine resources through policy and funding. We synthesize vitally important scientific and policy information and provide it to decision makers involved in the federal budget and appropriations process in order to encourage sustainable use of our ocean resources and ensure healthy oceans now and for future generations.
Given the importance of marine and coastal ecosystems, we should be investing more in monitoring, researching, protecting, and restoring the health of these systems. We should be enhancing their resilience so that they can better recover when disasters happen, whether from man-made disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill or natural ones such as hurricane Katrina.
Marine Conservation Institute works to ensure the federal government is adequately funding marine conservation efforts in the United States.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The MPAtlas team is making excellent enhancements to MPAtlas.org, our interactive resource to learn more about marine protected areas around the world. In 2015, we will be upgrading the website and expanding our collaboration with conservation organizations, adding new information layers to the map for various uses and conducting additional research. MPAtlas is a strong foundational piece for Blue Parks.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of acres of land protected

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

Blue Parks

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of acres of ocean awarded for outstanding conservation (Blue Parks).

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Charting impact

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

Marine Conservation Institute focuses on establishing a global ocean refuge system, strongly protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030.

To achieve this goal we are encouraging marine biodiversity conservation through the following actions:
1. Advocating for marine protected areas in key locations around the world.
2. Using an innovative initiative - Blue Park awards - to incentivize effective marine protected areas that result in marine biodiversity protection.
3. Tracking global marine protected area (MPA) progress using the Atlas of Marine Protection website to improve clarity and reporting on national and international progress towards the UN Sustainable Development 14 and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11. (www.MPAtlas.org)
4. Advocating for and supporting the United Nations negotiations to protect Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) and ensure ocean life is protected on the high seas (nearly two-thirds of the ocean).
5. Conserving Deep-Sea and Seamount ecosystems by securing protections from destructive fishing methods such as bottom trawling and calling for a moratorium on seabed mining globally.
6. Defending ocean and environmental protections in U.S. waters by fighting attempts by the Trump administration to weaken U.S. laws and regulations that protect our marine sanctuaries and monuments, as well as attempts to expand environmentally damaging activities in the ocean.
7. Calling on all nations to implement effective marine protected areas in global policy debates and to protect 30% of the oceans by 2030.

We use our strong marine science background to help us identify critical areas to protect, and our years of policy and advocacy experience to secure ocean protections. We advocate for strong and effective measures to protect biodiversity, and recognize the critical role of communities in effective stewardship and long-term sustainable management.

Blue Park awards provide incentives for communities, governments and decision makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for eco-friendly tourism and other ocean related businesses. This award process recognizes outstanding marine protected areas that meet rigorous scientific standards, their connections to local communities and their effectiveness at safeguarding biodiversity. We also work with sites to help them meet this standard and provide guidance and feedback from best-practices to help them achieve conservation.

Finally we measure progress in creating marine protected areas at the Atlas of Marine Protection website (www.MPAtlas.org). We track marine protected areas globally to measure and clarify government commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Targets. Our goal is to clarify and help visualize the level of protection and implementation of the world's MPAs. As countries around the world race to reach globally established levels of marine protection, it is important that these marine protected areas are fully implemented, managed and effective in achieving desired conservation benefits

Every member of Marine Conservation Institute’s staff possesses passion for ocean conservation and an exceptional set of skills and talents. Our scientists and staff have expertise in marine science, policy and conservation. We support our diverse partners with research and mapping skills, Geographic Information Systems and analyses, advocacy and MPA expertise. We are a strongly collaborative organization that has developed many strong partnerships which are critical to our success. These collaborations span all of our programs and include legal and policy experts, marine scientists, conservationists, business people, philanthropists and many others.

Marine Conservation Institute was instrumental in establish of vast national monuments across the central Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Samoa. We use this experience to leverage protected areas within coalitions and partnerships. We launched the California Seamount Coalition to protect the vital deep sea treasures off the west coast, building on the establishment of MPAs along the California coast. We continue to campaign for seamounts, coral and critical areas of the ocean. Blue Parks now stretch around the world and cover over 1.5 million square kilometers of ocean.

Financials

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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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MARINE CONSERVATION BIOLOGY INSTITUTE

Board of directors
as of 4/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nathalie Udo

InDepth Strategies

Term: 2021 - 2023

David Johns

Portland State University

Elliott Norse

Marine Conservation Institute

Nathalie Udo

InDepth Strategies

Gail Osherenko

Samuel Dakin

Sebastian Nicholls

Steve Olson

Jeff Smith

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/24/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/24/2019

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 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 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.