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How Your Travel Dollars Supported Conservation in 2016-2017

By Wayne Sentman

Established in 1969, Oceanic Society is America’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean conservation. Throughout our history we have seen how conscientious nature travel can drive conservation and connect people to nature in meaningful ways. Our expeditions programs have been a core component of how we pursue our mission for more than 45 years.

© Keoki Stender

Each of our expeditions is designed with the intention to positively impact the natural areas and human communities we visit while also delivering transformative nature experiences for our travelers that deepen their connections to nature and promote the adoption of ocean-friendly “Blue Habits.” Moreover, any profits we earn are invested directly into our ocean research and conservation programs worldwide.

In the last two fiscal years, our travel programs have generated nearly $1 million for ocean research and conservation programs.

Here’s how it works.

From July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 Oceanic Society operated 35 conservation travel programs for 245 travelers across 20 countries. Through those programs we contributed $145,330 to ocean research and conservation efforts by our partners in the Caribbean, Coral Triangle, Florida, Galápagos Islands, Kenya, Mexico, Micronesia, and Senegal, and provided a total of 1,371 hours of volunteer time. Our contributions supported programs that study and protect manatees, sea turtles, coral reefs, dolphins, whales, and other marine species.

An additional $305,343 in revenue generated through our expeditions and San Francisco Bay Area whale watching programs was reinvested into Oceanic Society’s global marine research and conservation programs, including our California whale conservation programs, the State of the World’s Sea Turtles Program, our Blue Habits initiative, and the administration of our fiscally-sponsored projects. Total dollar contributions to research and conservation were $450,673.

Click here to read about our travel programs' conservation impact in the previous fiscal year (2015-2016).


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.


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