6 Eco Warriors Share Their Favorite Ocean Conservation Wins for World Oceans Day


World Oceans Day, a UN holiday, is about celebrating the oceans that cover our planet and connect people worldwide. Leading scientists worldwide have determined that we need to protect at least 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This year, World Oceans Day is focusing on conservation action to preserve, restore, and protect the earth.

When we unite, we have the power to protect and restore our oceans. Discover six charities on Kind Traveler and their proudest ocean conservation wins that are helping to save our oceans.

Related: This Is Us' Jon Huertas: a Kind Traveler in the Maldives 

1. Kind Charity: Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Point Reyes, California 

Mission: Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) partners with the National Park Service to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Point Reyes National Seashore for present and future generations.

Proudest Ocean Conservation Win: Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Project

- Isaac Taylor, Education, and Outreach Analyst, Point Reyes National Seashore Association.


“In 2018, PRNSA celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its historic Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Project. 560 acres of former ranchland was finally restored to a coastal wetland in 2008, after years of collaborative planning and fundraising with our NPS partners. Water quality has improved significantly, while native species like eelgrass and the tidewater goby have reemerged and flourished. Waterbird populations expanded rapidly, with numbers increasing approximately 400% in the first five years. In 2010, bald eagles began nesting on nearby Inverness Ridge, and since 2016, the state “threatened” California black rail has been observed in the newly formed salt marsh habitat. With only 5% of California’s coastal wetlands intact, this environmental success story continues to serve as a model for coastal restoration.”

2. Kind Charity: Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach, California 

Mission: The Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals back into the wild, inspiring ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration.

Proudest Ocean Conservation Win: Animal Rescue Team

- Wendy Leeds and Krysta Higuchi, Events & PR Coordinator for Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Photo credit from Jeff Cornelius. All who were on the April 8th rescue team.

“The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals that strand from illness or injury and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of worries and brought on many challenges, however, our essential animal care operations have remained. On April 8th we got a call for an animal in need of rescue with a life-threatening entanglement injury. Our rescue team quickly jumped into action and was able to bring the animal back to our center for care. The injury required surgery and our team was able to successfully remove the entanglement and begin the process of healing her deep wounds. Her success story is truly an example of an entire community coming together. From the members of the public who reported her, lifeguards who assisted in her rescue and our vet, animal care team and volunteers who continue to help not only animals like her but all that come through our doors. We are thrilled to say she is going fantastic almost 2 months later and will soon be ready to be released back to the wild.”

3. Kind Charity: Manta Trust, Global (based in England)

Mission: Manta Trust’s goal is a sustainable future for the oceans, where manta rays and their relatives thrive in healthy, diverse marine ecosystems.

Proudest Ocean Conservation Win: Advocation for Manta Rays 

- Isabel Ender, Head of Conservation Strategy at Manta Trust

“Manta rays and their devil ray cousins (collectively mobulids) are under increasing threats from targeted and bycatch fisheries around the world. I was incredibly proud to be a part of the Manta Trust team which, through collaboration with other researchers and NGOs, contributed critical data and successfully lobbied for the inclusion of, firstly mantas, but later all mobulid species, under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). CITES listing grants manta rays and their relatives much greater protection by strictly regulating any international trade of products sourced from their body parts, which is a massive step forward helping to conserve their natural populations.”

Manta Trust Team

4. Kind Charity: Jamaica Inn Foundation, Ocho Rios, Jamaica 

Mission: The Jamaica Inn Foundation’s mission is to support the local community by means of aiding organizations dedicated to the education of island youth as well as assisting in the protection and preservation of the Jamaican marine environments.

Proudest Ocean Conservation Win: Oracabessa Bay Turtle Bay Project

Information provided by Emmanuella Owens, Sales & Marketing Manager at The Jamaica Inn.

“Mel Tennant, our local turtle expert, is known by many across Jamaica as ‘The Turtle Man.’ Here at Jamaica Inn, we are particularly grateful for Mel, as we rely on his expertise and efforts with sea turtle activity on our beach. Mel’s interest in turtle conservation began when the tiny creatures showed up on his property. In 2004, Mel realized the magnitude of the problems surrounding the endangered species and decided to take further action. Mel has made significant strides in educating people on sea turtles, taking action to protect the species and raise population levels through the Oracabessa Bay Turtle Project, an organization he founded in 2005. In 2012, more than 16,000 hatchlings were released from their nests with the help of the project. Thanks to Mel, we have experienced amazing turtle activity on our beach. Whether you witness a nesting or hatching, both are a miraculous sight you will not want to miss. We released over 5000 baby turtles last year. Our turtle season spans from August to December of each year.”

Karen Schuenamann

5. Kind Charity: Marine Mammal Care Center, San Pedro, California 

Mission: The mission of Marine Mammal Care Center LA is to rehabilitate marine mammals that have been stranded on beaches from Zuma Beach to Seal Beach in Los Angeles County due to illness, injury, or malnutrition.

Proudest Ocean Conservation Win: Animal Rehabilitation Program

Information provided by Amber Becerra, President of The Marine Mammal Care Center. 

“The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles has provided 24/7/365 medical care to more than 8,000 injured or sick seals and sea lions in LA County. COVID-19 has been a challenging time for the world, and we are no exception. While others are working from home, we are still saving the sea puppies and taking in other rescues' animals as well! One of the most meaningful moments was when we were able to rescue, rehabilitate, and release a sea lion pup that was found trying to cross a major freeway. Here is a picture of her in the highway patrol car that picked her up, and here a picture of her during her release with 2 of her pup friends! This is just one example of the work that we do to save our oceans and the creatures who live in it.”

6. Kind Charity: The Everglades Foundation

Mission: The Everglades Foundation leads efforts in the protection and restoration of the Everglades, a 1 million-acre wetland ecosystem on the tip of Southern Florida.

Proudest Ocean Conservation Win: The Everglades Online Literacy Program

- Owen Baillie, Director of Corporate Partnerships & Foundation Giving at The Everglades Foundation.

“The Foundation has launched a trove of distance learning resources and tools specifically designed for educators and families working in an online learning environment. The resources are available at www.evergladesliteracy.org under the tab “Resources.” The response from the educators we work with has been very positive. There’s a tremendous appetite right now for innovative online learning tools. 

We are encouraging everyone to share these resources with your families, teachers, children, and grandchildren, which we are certain will enrich students’ home-learning experiences and provide Everglades fun for the whole family.

The Everglades Literacy Program aims to address the absence of a comprehensive Everglades education program at the K-12 level. While the program is based on the River of Grass, its emphasis on the connections between water, habitats, plants, and animals makes it applicable anywhere. It provides free teacher training, a curriculum aligned to Florida Standards, one-on-one support, and other resources. The program currently reaches over 3,000 teachers in 21 school districts across the state of Florida.”

Want to help protect the oceans? Sign the petition to protect at least 30% of our blue planet by 2030. World Oceans Day joins with many organizations on this important initiative. By signing the petition you are telling world leaders that you want action too! Working together we can protect our blue planet home for all.

Related: 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

Become an ocean warrior when you travel kindly. Kind Traveler hotels offer exclusive rates + perks upon a $10 nightly donation to a local charity that positively impacts the community or environment in the destination visited, or to any Kind Charity. 100% of donations go to charity. 

One Planet, One Ocean: Mobilizing Science to #SaveOurOcean

Photo Credit: Jamaica Inn Foundation, Manta Trust, Marine Mammal Care Center, Pacific Marine Mammal Care, Point Reyes National Seashore Association​, The Everglades Foundation and Kind Traveler.

Bio: Helena Faye Huizenga is a traveling yogi and yoga instructor seeking to inspire slow travel experiences that encourage others to explore destinations with purpose and intention.