About Me

This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

January 28, 2011

Announcing The Ocean Project Small Grants Program


Grants are available to zoos, aquariums, and museums for demonstration projects that best integrate and test The Ocean Project's market research findings (available for download here).  

Successful projects would clearly enhance meaningful participation in conservation action by youth and/or minorities. 

Apply by March 15, 2011. Click here for more information.

January 24, 2011

Opportunity to comment on National Ocean Policy strategic action plans

Today the US National Ocean Council announced that it is seeking public input as it develops strategic action plans for nine priority objectives described in the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force.  These objectives seek to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.

Public comments will be accepted through April 29, 2011.  Draft strategic action plans will be released in the summer of 2011, and will also be available for public comment.

To provide comment, please visit this website and choose which of the nine action areas listed you wish to address. Three questions are posed to guide your input:


  • What near-term, mid-term, and long-term actions would most effectively help the Nation achieve this policy objective?
  • What are some of the major obstacles to achieving this objective; are there opportunities this objective can further, including transformative changes in how we address the stewardship of the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes?
  • What milestones and performance measures would be most useful for measuring progress toward achieving this priority objective?
To submit your comments, please click here.

January 20, 2011

The Youth Effect: a toolkit for decision makers on engaging with youth


Sometimes clich├ęs ring true: The youth are our future; and they need to have a say in its direction. Unfortunately, youths are a disproportionately unengaged group by organizations that want to make a difference. Many organizations may think it too difficult or feel it is off-mission to add a youth component to their initiatives. 

On the contrary, market research by The Ocean Project has shown that young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. Youth generally have the free time, familiarity with current issues, and the motivation to go out of their way to take environmental actions. Furthermore, the research shows that parents are increasingly looking to their tween and teenage children for information and advice on these issues.

Essentially, youth can be real agents of change. Based on The Ocean Project's market research, youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to effect lasting change. Investing in getting youth involved with your organization, can be challenging, but there are resources out there to make the process much easier.

The Youth Effect is an online toolkit developed by the Youth Task Force of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, as part of an effort to ensure that children and youth are an integral part of designing, shaping and creating a more sustainable future. The toolkit was developed to help you and other leaders of organizations across all sectors engage youth in a way that is successful for your organization, the youths involved, and our planet. It goes over questions to ask yourself about how your organization currently interacts with the next generation of leaders, and provides tips and case studies to improve your efforts.

You can view the toolkit pre-publication through this online e-reader at: http://www.youtheffect.org/.

January 5, 2011

Small Grants Program Funding Opportunity


Happy New Year! It's nice to start a new year with good news so here is some for our Partner zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs).

To help us achieve our collaborative mission and expand our market research initiative, The Ocean Project was recently awarded a three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). One of the ultimate goals of this initiative is to help our partner ZAMs create an ocean literate and ready-to-act American public.

As part of the award, and to help us maximize the application of our research, NOAA provided The Ocean Project with funding to create a national competitive small grants program. The Ocean Project will grant up to $50,000 to ZAMs in 2011 and up to $60,000 in both 2012 and 2013, with a maximum of $15,000 per ZAM in any given year. A major program goal of The Ocean Project Small Grants Program will be to enhance meaningful participation in conservation action by youth and/or minorities.

Next week The Ocean Project will post an RFP with many more details, so please stay tuned.