The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative

The Ocean Foundation’s DEI Initiative and its managing body, the DEI Committee, was established on July 1st, 2016. The DEI initiative’s primary objective is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion as core organizational values and assess the organization’s progress in these efforts; and assist the President in the development and implementation of new policies and initiatives where necessary. 

With its over fifty projects, programs, and initiatives spanning the globe The Ocean Foundation (TOF) is no stranger to the recurring issues of inequality that persist in the marine conservation movement. We are intimately aware that there remain few opportunities for meaningful contributions from diverse voices in policy-making decisions born from the lack of access that many of our underrepresented peers and coastal communities face. 

We understand, too, that as the only community foundation for the ocean, The Ocean Foundation is uniquely positioned to help steer the marine conservation community towards a more progressive, inclusive movement. A movement that harnesses the power, ingenuity, and resources of all of us that care about the wellbeing of our world ocean. To do this, TOF has established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative and a special, independent, Committee tasked with managing this initiative. 


After conducting an initial assessment of best practices in the field, our organizational needs, and areas that we have found will have potential for the greatest amount of impact, The Ocean Foundation’s DEI Committee elected the following four goals for the DEI Initiative:  

  • Establishing processes and procedures that promote DEI in TOF’s organizational practices 
  • Incorporating DEI best practices in TOF’s conservation strategies 
  • Promoting awareness of DEI issues externally through our donors, partners, and grantees 
  • Fostering DEI oriented leadership in the marine conservation community


The following table provides an overview of The Ocean Foundation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion three-year strategy and accomplishments to date:

DEI Project Tracker_0.jpg


View and download our DEI Initiative sheet here.