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How Your Travel Dollars Supported Conservation in 2015-2016

By Wayne Sentman

Young volunteers participate in conch research in Belize. © Morrison Mast

As I write, our 2017–2018 Expeditions Catalog is coming off the press and headed to the mailboxes of our growing “oceanic society.” In creating each new catalog, we strive to find new and interesting ways to help the prospective traveler understand why our expeditions are the ones they would want to participate in. More importantly, we also hope that each catalog will connect with our community, and explain why traveling with us provides value well beyond the experience itself through our mission-driven focus.

Oceanic Society is a different type of non-profit organization, and we have been since our founding in 1969. Travel is central to how we pursue our mission, and we choose and design our expeditions to support three main goals:

  • Conserving the natural areas we visit;
  • Supporting economies that aim to utilize and protect nature in sustainable ways;
  • Providing transformative experiences in nature that translate to personal pro-ocean behavior changes, or what we call “Blue Habits.”

In this year’s Expeditions Catalog we have sought to better answer the question, “What does that really mean for conservation?” through the creation of our first Conservation Travel Programs Impact Statement for fiscal year 2016 (FY16), which you can download here. In it, you will see how the 39 trips we led in FY16 allowed us to reinvest in our own conservation and research efforts as well as to support on-the-ground partners who are actively studying and protecting ocean wildlife and habitats across 14 countries, totaling nearly half a million dollars.


As an Oceanic Society traveler, we hope that you will feel both assured by our commitment to conservation, and proud of your own role in contributing to a healthier ocean.

We know that you have a choice when you decide how to spend your travel dollars. As an Oceanic Society traveler, we hope that you will feel both assured by our commitment to conservation, and proud of your own role in contributing to a healthier ocean. And as someone who is part of a team that loves what they do year after year, I want to thank each and every one of you.

Author

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1998. He is an experienced guide with a diverse background in marine mammal, seabird, and marine debris research. Wayne also co-teaches undergraduate field programs in Kenya on human-wildlife conflict and on the use of social media and art to raise public participation in conservation. He recently received a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard University.