Impact Story 16: Ocean Unite – Amplifying Impactful, Aligned Voices and Igniting Marine Conservation

Posted April 16, 2017

Science and policy point the way for what needs to be done to save our blue planet; yet expertise and communication is often fragmented, frequently not reaching the right ears at critical moments. So Louis Bacon and The Moore Charitable Foundation has partnered with Ocean Unite, an initiative of Virgin Unite to amplify impactful, informed voices and ignite the marine conservation movement at key moments to secure a healthy and vital ocean.

An example of the process at work: Ocean Unite and actor Adrien Grenier’s Lonely Whale Foundation teamed up to activate and inspire people from all walks of life to take action for ocean health and marine life globally. The #MakeASplash campaign, highlighted on World Ocean Day asked fans, followers, readers and viewers to “make a splash,” by surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, scuba-diving or splashing around in the water, and take a photo/video to post on social media using the #MakeASplash hashtag. The effort was underpinned by Adrian Grenier and Sir Richard Branson’s challenge to swim the Messina Straits from Italy to Sicily as part of the Virgin STRIVE Challenge, a vehicle to drive change for young people in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Grenier explained in the LA Times why the swim itself was a vehicle for ocean health messaging: “It was twofold. It was a personal challenge to overcome, but [it was] also recognizing that it is possible to achieve things that are hard. When we look at what the oceans are facing, the obstacles of the environment, it sometimes feels overwhelming and daunting and we’re scared and we lack motivation. But we can do it if we put in a little bit of effort every day. Just like I was able to achieve my personal challenge of swimming in the open ocean, we as a society can overcome the challenges facing the oceans and the environment if we make an effort.”

During the campaign, Ocean Unite distributed a bi-weekly newsletter as well as content to nonprofit partners to help amplify the issue. Ocean Unite produced seven short issue-based films linked to key ocean events. More than 340 million twitter and Instagram impressions were posted using the hashtag.

Next up: In June 2017, the UN will be holding a week-long conference focused on the Ocean Sustainable Development Goal – SDG14: Life below water. In conjunction with this sustainability goal of the ocean, Ocean Unite has launch a campaign called “The Ocean: Everybody’s Business” to amplify how we need everyone, everywhere, to make the Ocean their business and ensure its ‘voice’ is heard.

Get involved with Ocean Unite here.