As snorkelers, the damage we see happening to our beautiful oceans and coral reefs is heart wrenching. Huge portions of the world’s reefs are dead or dying. The impact from global warming and over-fishing is undeniable to anyone who has had their face in the water for the last decade and beyond.
So, although it is not enough, we contribute monthly to four charity organizations that are working to help protect our oceans.
How to Choose an Ocean or Reef Charity?
How did we pick who to give money to? There are so many possible charities that are focused on environmental protection and the oceans and reefs in particular.
First, we suggest you decide on what problems you want to focus on. Maybe you are interested in helping stop the slaughter of sharks, whales and dolphins, or cleaning up the great ocean trash heaps? Or maybe focusing on educating youth on the value of our oceans is more interesting to you?
Snorkeling Charities We Support
These are the three non-profits that we give money to on a monthly basis.
Coral Reef Alliance
The Coral Reef Alliance works on the local scale, to improve reef management, establish marine reserves, create sustainable fisheries and tourism, and they also promote educational programs in communities closest to reefs.
The Misool Foundation protects a large area of ocean habitat, in Raja Ampat Indonesia, that has the highest marine biodiversity in the world. They do this in a very holistic way with the local communities, creating employment, helping with education and recycling programs, and most importantly by actively patrolling the protected area to ensure that no fishing, or shark fining is taking place.
We have seen the results in person, and it is astounding. The volumes of fish are simply incredible, the corals are healthy, and there are once again many sharks in the area. The easiest way to donate monthly is through the Wildlife Conservation Network website, and select ‘Monthly’ at the top of the page.
WildAid Marine Program
We found out about WildAid from the Misool Foundation. They partner with Misool and manage online donations for them. Through that connection we learned that WildAid is doing some fantastic work in many areas of the world for oceans and the sea life that lives in them. We are very happy to support this organization and their work creating and maintaining successful protection programs for marine protected areas. You can read all about their programs at the link above. The marine program is part of a larger WildAid organization focused on protecting wildlife from human impacts.
How to Find, Choose, and Vet Other Charities
There are a ton of charity options which can be very confusing. Fortunately there are also a number of really useful research websites to find not only the charity type you are interested in, but you can also look at the financials of the charity, to make sure your money is going where you want, not just paying administration.
Here are a couple useful research websites:
Here are some more resources with lists of reputable charities that are ocean focused:
- ScubaDiving.com – List of nonprofits focused on marine conservation
- OneGreenPlanet.org – Organizations dedicated to marine conservation
- Goodnet.org – Five organizations making the worlds oceans cleaner