EIN 51-0401308


IRS 501(c) type
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Year formed
Most recent tax filings
Oceana advocates for policy changes to preserve ocean life. Their recent successes include transparency and traceability initiatives in Mexico and Europe.
Total revenues
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Num. employees

Program areas at Oceana

Internationalbelizeban gillnetsour hard-won ban on gillnets was attacked immediately after the new government's election. A group of fishers filed a lawsuit in belize's supreme court to overturn the ban. In the days immediately following the election, we delivered to the new ministry of fisheries (now renamed the ministry of blue economy), a chronology and associated material on the multi-year and inclusive process that had culminated in the ban on gillnets. Our tactics proved helpful as the fisheries administrator was forced to submit an affidavit attesting to the fairness and thoroughness of decision-making on the ban. In july, the supreme court ruled that the fishers had failed on each point of their application and denied their request for judicial review. The ban's enforcement is being handled by the fisheries department, the police department and the belize coast guard. The coast guard has publicly committed to enforcing the ban and their operations to that end have been covered in local press. Reduce single-use plasticsvictory in resolving delay of implementation of single-use plastics ban: throughout much of 2021, the ban we achieved on single-use plastic food items was delayed by technical issues first at the department of environment, and then at the bureau of standards, which sets the parameters for the alternative products that would replace prohibited items. In late december 2021, the attorney general advised the ministry of environment that the delays required new notice periods ahead of implementation. To counter the industry lobby for a longer-than-necessary notice period, Oceana immediately pushed and won the shortest possible notice window. In mid-january 2022, the new regulations were signed into law by the minister of environment and the new threshold date was set as march 31, 2022. To emphasize his commitment to implementation of the ban, the minister of environment warned importers and manufacturers that phase two of the ban will address the production and distribution of polyethylene terephthalate (pet) single-use bottles used for water, juices and other liquids.brazilimplementing catch limits for commercial fisheriesoceana has faced delays in our campaigns in brazil that rely on congressional action, due to a year of turmoil in 2022 because of the general elections. Oceana's campaign to modernize brazil's fishery policy, however, is on track. Through a transparent consultation process, Oceana succeeded in setting up our proposal to be the leading legislative vehicle for reform.oceana's proposal for catch limits on red snapper was presented to and endorsed by the brazilian association of red snapper producers (abrappa) at the 1st fisheries congress of the municipality of braganca in para state. Most of brazil's red snapper fleet is concentrated in this area, along with companies that process and export this fish. Key stakeholders were at the congress, including the main industries, many vessel owners, and fishers. We presented our proposal for a red snapper annual export quota, and representatives from all sectors agree that an export quota is the best strategy to manage the fishery, which is facing a crisis due to increasing illegal, unreported and unregulated (iuu) fishing and biomass reductions. The main challenge is creating a sense of urgency among managers. The congress signed an "open letter" (a proposal by Oceana) in which all participants publicly called on the government to (1) resume the fisheries management councils; (2) end iuu and register all vessels; and (3) implement additional management measures and a fishing quota based on the volume of red snapper exported. Abrappa delivered our letter to the minister of fisheries andr de paula during a meeting in brasilia.our brazil staff completed the most comprehensive consultation process on fisheries management ever conducted in brazil in 2022. Over three months, our team organized and led a total of ten workshops throughout brazil to discuss the brazil's fisheries law with about 150 leaders of the artisanal fishing sector, who represent about one million fishers throughout brazil. We won their full support for Oceana's proposal to reform the current policy. Limit single-use plasticsbrazil's leading food delivery service, ifood, committed to additional single-use plastic reductions. Thanks to Oceana's advocacy, from 2025 on ifood will eliminate 1.5 billion optional items (cutlery, cups, straws, and plates), 1.2 billion styrofoam packaging items and 500,000 plastic bags from its operations per year. The company's commitment to eliminate this quantity of plastic pollution is important in itself and also as a sign to brazil's congress that reducing single-use plastic is both feasible and desired by the public. Oceana canadain 2022, Oceana Inc. Provided charitable contributions and in-kind support to Oceana canada, an independent nonprofit organization incorporated under canadian law. With our support, Oceana canada achieved the following victories:rebuild canada's fisheriescanada set new safeguards that can help rebuild wild fish stocks. These requirements fall under the fisheries act, which Oceana successfully campaigned to amend in 2019. Oceana canada and its allies advocated for robust rules to guide the recovery of canada's fish populations, of which less than a third are considered healthy. Thirty stocks are listed in the new safeguards, and 16 of those are in the "critical zone." The requirements set a target, timeline, and course of action for stock rebuilding, contributing to more sustainable fisheries, healthy coastal communities, and a more abundant ocean.the canadian government also protected two critically depleted species atlantic mackerel and southern gulf spring herring by closing the commercial and bait fisheries, advocating for fishery rebuilding measures to be implemented, and calling for the closure of both fisheries. Atlantic mackerel and southern gulf spring herring play a crucial role in the northwest atlantic ecosystem and feed many other species, including whales, seabirds, and commercially important stocks such as cod and tuna. The government's decision a difficult but necessary measure contributes to the conservation of these forage fish and the long-term prosperity of canada's fisheries.limit single-use plastics Oceana secured a campaign victory in canada as the government banned six single-use plastic (sup) categories of items such as food service ware containers made from multiple types of plastics. These categories cover more than 30 items most commonly found polluting shorelines and oceans, including bags, cutlery, stir sticks, ring carriers, straws and foodservice ware (takeout containers, cups, bowls, plates) made from, or containing, problematic plastics. This ban represents approximately 33 billion single-use plastic items that were being thrown away every single year in canada and now will not go to market. This victory comes as a result of multiple meetings with the minister of environment, members of parliament and top government officials to strengthen the ban. We recruited hundreds of thousands of canadians to take grassroots actions to stand up for the oceans. We currently are acting as an intervener to support the government in a lawsuit brought forward by the plastic industry.protect endangered species from entanglement in fishing gearoceana was successful for the third year in a row after calling for the government to maintain all measures put in place to protect right whales from entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes. This was one of our campaign milestones toward establishing permanent regulations to protect right whales from ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear. The maintained measures include mandatory fisheries closures and vessel slowdowns to 10 knots when right whales are present.
Marketing and communicationskey achievements of Oceana's marketing and communication department in 2022 are highlighted below: - Oceana grew our grassroots base from 5.6 to 5.9 million organizational supporters in 2022. Oceana has more than 8.6 million supporters worldwide.
United statesin the united states, Oceana is working on science-based policy campaigns that seek to advance responsible fishing, stop new offshore oil and gas development, reduce illegal fishing, protect habitat, protect the north atlantic right whale, reduce single-use plastics and defend the nation's bedrock conservation laws.responsible fishingnew at-sea monitoring requirements will strengthen accountability and abundance of the groundfish fishery in the u.s. northeast. In 2022, the national marine fisheries service approved a final rule that requires all fishing in the new england (northeast) groundfish fishery to be accompanied by professionally trained at-sea monitors or electronic systems to gather first-hand data about what is being caught and discarded at sea. This victory would not have been possible without Oceana and our allies, who campaigned for years for greater observer coverage levels for this fishery, which has suffered from decades of overfishing and excessive uncounted bycatch. This change is critical for the proper oversight of the 13 species in this fisheries management plan and will ensure that catch is counted and accounted for so that science-based catch limits can be properly set and enforced. Setting appropriate catch limits can increase abundance in this important fishery.stop expanded offshore drillingwe did not succeed in 2022 in making our previous wins in offshore drilling permanent through enactment into law. The inflation reduction act, which we had hoped to be the bill that would create permanent protections, ended up allowing drilling in the western gulf of mexico and in cook inlet in Alaska, two areas where we have been campaigning to extend our successes in stopping offshore drilling elsewhere in the u.s. While the bill is considered to be the most significant climate bill in u.s. history, with investments in a broad range of clean energy projects and programs that are estimated to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030, it contains bad provisions on offshore drilling.the successes we previously achieved, however, persist despite the inflation reduction act's impact on offshore drilling. In september 2020 we won a 10-year moratorium on drilling offshore the southeast u.s., which also extended and expanded the moratorium on drilling in the eastern gulf of mexico. Also, the biden administration's proposed five-year plan oil and gas leasing plan (for 2023-2028) contains no proposed drilling on the atlantic coast, the pacific coast, in the arctic, and in the eastern gulf of mexico. Drilling in these areas cannot be added to the plan at this point, so we have locked in this protection during the period of the five-year plan. Oceana is continuing to campaign to ensure that the biden administration's final five-year oil and gas leasing program for 2023-2028, which we expect to be issued in september 2023, limits new offshore drilling.reduce illegal fishingoceana is campaigning to improve the u.s. Domestic and international programs and policies to address illegal fishing, transparency and traceability. In june, president biden issued a national security memorandum to drive government action on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (iuu) fishing and associated labor abuses. The memo calls for deeper coordination and collaboration of labor, trade, security, law enforcement, diplomatic and conservation agencies within the us government. The memo also directed noaa to issue new regulations toexpand the seafood import monitoring program to additional species in 2022 and to continually expand the program moving forward.in october, president biden issued the national security strategy that outlines how the united states will advance their vital interests and pursue a free, open, prosperous, and secure world. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is featured under three priorities in the strategy: out competing china, combating transnational crime, and protecting sea, air, and space.the national oceanic and atmospheric administration (noaa) has also issued a proposed rule to expand the definition of iuu fishing that it uses in identifying and certifying countries engaged in this type of fishing. The current definition has prevented noaa from taking stronger action against bad actors. The proposed changes would allow noaa to identify countries for failure to exert flag state control over its fishing vessel as opposed to the current process which requires information about specific vessels engaged in iuu fishing, creating a system more analogous to the eu carding approach. We submitted comments on the proposed rule.protect habitatoceana conducted an expedition to document coral and sponge habitat near kodiak, Alaska and the shumagin islands an important milestone in our campaign to get the national marine fisheries service to protect at least 500,000 square kilometers of gulf of Alaska seafloor from destructive bottom trawling. In may, Oceana's pacific team circumnavigated kodiak island in the gulf of Alaska, traveling more than 500 nautical miles to explore 23 different ocean sites to document corals, sponges and other seafloor habitat areas. We found extraordinary coral gardens in areas still open to trawling, and an ocean teeming with life at every site. We will present our findings to the north pacific fishery management council later this year to create new protections for seafloor habitat in Alaska. Protect endangered species from entanglement in fishing gearwe achieved an important milestone in our campaign to protect the critically endangered north atlantic right whale of which only 330 are estimated to remain. In august 2022, the national marine fisheries service issued a proposed rule to reduce the likelihood of collisions between right whales and vessels along the u.s. atlantic coast. This proposed vessel speed rule includes most of Oceana's objectives for the rule. Collisions with shipping vessels is one of the two main threats to this species, along with entanglement in fishing gear.furthermore, because of an increase in whale sightings in 2022, the California department of fish and wildlife closed the central and southern California commercial dungeness crab fishery on april 8, 2022, followed by the northern California dungeness crab fishery as well as all recreational dungeness crab fishing on april 20, 2022. The earlier-than- expected statewide closure followed several humpback whale entanglements and was implemented consistent with California's risk assessment mitigation program that Oceana helped to develop. This milestone fits under our larger campaign to get the national marine fisheries service and the state of California to reduce entanglements of endangered whales and sea turtles in commercial fishing gear by 80 percent relative to 2016 numbers.reduce single-use plasticsin june, California governor gavin newsom signed into law the country's strongest plastic source-reduction policy, following a bipartisan vote in the state legislature. The oceana-backed law requires producers to cut their single-use plastic packaging and food ware by 25 percent by 2032 and implements the first statewide reuse and refill mandates. In addition, it makes packaging and plastic food ware producers responsible for their pollution and requires plastic producers to pay $5 billion over 10 years in environmental mitigation funds. More than three years of campaigning by Oceana and our allies for statewide policies, including the ballot initiative, led to this victory. As the fifth-largest economy in the world, California has raised the bar for other state and national level plastic reductions. While there will continue to be a need to reduce beyond the 25 percent mandated in this new law, and to invest in tools such as regenerative agriculture to help reduce the worst impacts of pollution and climate change, this law represents a powerful first step that other states, and even nations, can use to build their plastics reduction programs. Also in 2022, and after a year-long campaign led by Oceana and our allies, the u.s. department of the interior announced it will phase out single-use plastic in all national parks, other public lands, and offices managed by the department. This policy will reduce the procurement, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic packaging and products in all 423 national parks, including 88 ocean and coastal parks. To win this victory, we coordinated more than 300 organizations and businesses to call on u.s. Interior secretary deb haaland to take this action and worked with members of congress to introduce legislation to require single-use plastic reductions in national parks.
Marine science

Grants made by Oceana

GranteeGrant descriptionAmount
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)Support Activities for the Project Joint Campaign on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (Iuu) Fishing, Transparency and Human Rights$180,000
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)Support Activities for the Project Joint Campaign on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (Iuu) Fishing, Transparency and Human Rights$180,000
Tides CenterSupport Activities for the Project Joint Campaign on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (Iuu) Fishing, Transparency and Human Rights$90,000
...and 2 more grants made

Who funds Oceana

Grants from foundations and other nonprofits
Sandler FoundationGeneral Support$2,000,000
The Marisla FoundationGeneral Support$2,000,000
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA)General$1,785,000
...and 200 more grants received totalling $16,468,622

Personnel at Oceana

Andrew F SharplessChief Executive Officer$499,936
Christopher M SharkeyChief Financial Officer$285,971
Kathy WhelpleyChief of Staff$254,141
Jacqueline SavitzChief Policy Officer , North America$268,267
Kathryn MatthewsChief Scientist$180,407
...and 45 more key personnel

Financials for Oceana

RevenuesFYE 12/2022
Total grants, contributions, etc.$44,130,233
Program services$0
Investment income and dividends$11,963
Tax-exempt bond proceeds$0
Royalty revenue$0
Net rental income$0
Net gain from sale of non-inventory assets$-3,755
Net income from fundraising events$19,732
Net income from gaming activities$0
Net income from sales of inventory$0
Miscellaneous revenues$-190,386
Total revenues$43,967,787

Form 990s for Oceana

Fiscal year endingDate received by IRSFormPDF link
2022-122023-08-31990View PDF
2021-122022-07-15990View PDF
2020-122021-07-23990View PDF
2019-122021-01-21990View PDF
2018-122019-09-13990View PDF
...and 10 more Form 990s

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Population ConnectionWashington, DC$11,280,805
Food and Water WatchWashington, DC$19,212,278
Friends of the EarthWashington, DC$16,789,731
The Climate Reality ProjectWashington, DC$23,180,204
National Audubon SocietyNew York, NY$156,129,262
Rocky Mountain InstituteBoulder, CO$139,396,668
Rails To Trails ConservancyWashington, DC$11,711,163
Data update history
May 17, 2024
Received grants
Identified 2 new grant, including a grant for $10,000 from The Pattee Foundation
January 3, 2024
Received grants
Identified 87 new grant, including a grant for $2,000,000 from The Marisla Foundation
November 8, 2023
Posted financials
Added Form 990 for fiscal year 2022
November 8, 2023
Updated personnel
Identified 1 new personnel
October 26, 2023
Received grants
Identified 13 new grant, including a grant for $1,785,000 from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA)
Nonprofit Types
Grantmaking organizationsSocial advocacy organizationsEnvironmental organizationsHeadquarter / parent organizationsCharities
Political advocacyLobbyingFundraising eventsOperates internationallyNational levelReceives government fundingCommunity engagement / volunteeringTax deductible donationsAccepts online donations
General information
1025 Connecticut Ave NW 200
Washington, DC 20036
Metro area
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
District of Columbia, DC
Website URL
(202) 833-3900
Facebook page
Twitter profile
IRS details
Fiscal year end
Taxreturn type
Form 990
Year formed
Eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub 78)
NTEE code, primary
C01: Environment Alliances and Advocacy
NAICS code, primary
813319: Social Advocacy Organizations
Parent/child status
Central organization
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