Ocean Wise® has launched as a new global ocean conservation organization focused on protecting and restoring our world’s oceans. Building on the roots of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, which started as a community-based not-for-profit organization, Ocean Wise aims to inspire people in every corner of the planet to participate in creating healthy oceans. The transformation is a natural evolution of Vancouver Aquarium’s 61 years of conservation research, education and engagement, extending its world-renowned leadership to Ocean Wise, and committing its positive impact to other parts of the world.
“This is a pivotal shift that we’ve been working on for several years, reorganizing ourselves from being an aquarium with conservation, research and education programs to a globally-focused ocean conservation organization that also manages accredited aquariums,” said Dr. John Nightingale, CEO and president of Ocean Wise. “In many ways, we’ve been working towards this transformation for decades, connecting more and more people to care about our oceans and providing direct-action solutions to help slow the changes taking place on our blue planet.”
Home to purpose-driven storytelling and charismatic fauna, the Vancouver Aquarium will continue to thrive as one of the world’s best aquariums and a leader in connecting minds and hearts to the pressing issues facing our world’s oceans. In its six decades, Vancouver Aquarium has directly connected with more than 40 million people, and through new Ocean Wise engagement platforms, the organization will connect with tens of millions more in the digital universe, encouraging people around the world to take an interest in, and protect, vulnerable aquatic ecosystems.
“It’s going to take a deep, transformational change – a sea change – in humanity’s consciousness to care about and protect our oceans, and we’re in a unique position to help effect that change,” said Nightingale. “To do even more in the name of ocean conservation, we need to build upon our breadth of experience and grow the choir of ocean champions. Behind the scenes, we’ve been diligently working towards this significant shift which includes today’s unveiling of an expansive new digital portal: www.ocean.org.”
The Ocean Wise brand is already familiar to many Canadians as the sustainable seafood program created by Vancouver Aquarium as a direct-action program to tackle overfishing. Now, the name encompasses much more: it will influence a global community to see, know, understand, and think about the oceans and aquatic life in a deeper, more meaningful, and more actionable way.
Ocean Wise is composed of four key areas:
• Aquarium Management — Connecting people directly to ocean stories about aquatic life in Vancouver, Valencia, and potentially other centres around the globe.
• Education — Driven by the preeminent teaching and learning foundations, delivered both in person and through digital channels.
• Engagement — Connecting with even more people to foster interest, awareness and a commitment to change, delivered in partnership with local organizations across Canada and around the globe. Joining forces with funders, sponsors, partners and others who share in a vision of healthy and flourishing oceans.
• Research — Providing a foundation of unbiased scientific knowledge through original research by the Coastal Ocean Research Institute, as well as curating and aggregating peer-reviewed research conducted by the scientific community worldwide.
Just as Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre identified the institution in Vancouver devoted to marine science, Ocean Wise now shares its vision of the health and wholeness of the ocean on a global scale.
“Our aim is to cultivate our scientific understanding, apply our knowledge, and deliver education-rich experiences of awe and wonder to connect people with a common interest in advancing ocean wisdom,” adds Nightingale. “We invite the worldwide community to join us by exploring ocean stories at www.ocean.org.”