The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., have announced the creation of the Ocean Health Initiative, a new marine conservation programme designed to protect and restore coastal and marine habitats across America. SeaWorld has pledged $1.5 million over three years for the initiative.
The Ocean Health Initiative will fund projects through existing NFWF grant programmes across a portfolio of conservation activities that support the health of threatened marine and coastal species and habitats. Key focal areas of the initiative will include conservation and protection of marine wildlife and coastal habitats of the Eastern Atlantic, along the Gulf of Mexico and key estuaries that feed into those bodies of water.
“Pollution, loss of habitat and impacts from overfishing continue to threaten many of the native species that inhabit our oceans, estuaries and coastal wetlands,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “SeaWorld’s commitment to this new initiative will bolster conservation efforts across a portfolio of focal species and habitats that, together, represent a comprehensive approach to restoring the health of the oceans.”
The Ocean Health Initiative is SeaWorld’s second commitment to NFWF this year. Recognising that ocean health is a leading concern for killer whales and all marine mammals in the wild, SeaWorld is embarking on this new partnership focused on protecting the ocean. The first Ocean Health Initiative grants are expected to be awarded this autumn. SeaWorld’s first partnership commitment to NFWF was a pledge of $1.5 million over three years through the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP).
“We’re excited to again partner with an organization that has an outstanding reputation for conserving ocean species and habitats,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “This new commitment to ocean health will continue the mission established by SeaWorld’s founders more than 50 years ago, ‘to return to the sea some measure of the benefits derived from it.’”
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