LDF donates $2 million to Oceans 5 collaborative

A great white shark swimming off the coast of South Africa.

Oceans 5, an international funders’ collaborative, announced a $2 Million grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation dedicated to stopping overfishing and establishing marine reserves in the world’s five oceans.

The funds will support projects creating large protected areas in the Pacific Islands and the Arctic, while also improving fisheries enforcement in Europe, the United States and Central America. DiCaprio’s contribution also supported the protection of threatened shark populations, created a large marine monument in remote Pacific waters of the United States, and advanced efforts to protect Antarctica.

Oceans 5 is an exciting new platform for marine conservation. Working together with other philanthropists, we are making smarter, more impactful investments for the future of our planet.  The sad truth is that less than 2% of our oceans are fully protected.  We need to change that now.  My Foundation supports Oceans 5 projects that are directly improving ocean health by stopping overfishing and creating marine reserves.     — Leonardo DiCaprio

Oceans 5 is a new model for collaborative philanthropy. Founded in 2011, the organization develops and supports projects involving multiple groups working toward significant ocean conservation objectives. Oceans 5 includes eight donors who share a common inspiration for results-oriented grantmaking. Over the past three years, the group has supported thirteen projects, providing tangible benefits for the world’s oceans and strengthening ocean conservation philanthropy.

“The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is a valued partner of Oceans 5,” said Kristian Parker, Chairman of the Geneva-based Oak Foundation, “Leo’s personal commitment is phenomenal. He brings enormous energy and enthusiasm to our work for the oceans.”

Ted Waitt, Founder and Chairman of the California-based Waitt Foundation, added, “Oceans 5 is about making a difference for future generations. Leo and his Foundation bring a strategic focus to helping coastal communities protect biodiversity. It is a strong addition to our group.”

The LDF grant will assist in the development of future initiatives and will directly support beneficiaries including:

  • A new coalition of four conservation groups, working to strengthen controls on illegal fishing in the European Union, the world’s largest seafood market;
  • A local organization in the Republic of Kiribati, working to implement the world’s fourth largest marine reserve, located in the Central Pacific;
  • A coalition of three organizations working to improve fisheries enforcement in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, including construction of a radar facility on Cocos Island;
  • A group of Cook Islanders working to create a marine park within a territory that is three times the size of California;
  • Several organizations working to create Arctic marine reserves in Canada, Greenland and Russia.

In addition, the foundation supported a coalition of six organizations that worked successfully to secure new global trade restrictions for endangered sharks and an international coalition of organizations seeking to create the world’s largest protected areas in the waters around Antarctica.

Oceans 5 is a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a New York-based public charity. Its Members and Partners include the Oak Foundation, Planet Heritage Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Waitt Foundation, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Moore Charitable Foundation, Angell Family Foundation and Bill and Shannon Joy.

Last updated April 27, 2017