Supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Marine Conservation

 

Watch this video to see firsthand the impact the Oceans for All Fund has on the communities we serve. 

What is Oceans for All?
We are creating opportunities for the next generation of ocean stewards and supporting foundational change in marine conservation through the Oceans for All initiative. It supports scholarships, programming, and outreach activities to provide experience and increase awareness of marine conservation opportunities amongst groups who are underrepresented and those with financial need. 

How is it making a difference? 
REEF is committed to using our programs, platform, and voice to help diversify future leadership in conservation and provide opportunities for individuals from underrepresented communities to build connections with the ocean. 

Oceans for All is facilitated through two of REEF’s key programs that engage participants in immersive, hands-on learning and exploration.     

  • Marine Conservation Internship Program: Beginning in summer 2022, REEF interns receive financial support through monthly stipends and housing provided at no cost while participating in the program. Removing cost barriers to joining in REEF’s internship program helps broaden access and increase the number of applicants who identify as first-generation college students and for those who unsupported positions are not possible
  • Ocean Explorers Programs: 
    • Facilitating Virtual Field Trips at no cost so that teachers can bring experiential ocean education programming directly into their classroom, regardless of location or budget. 
    • Providing scholarships for groups to participate in field-based Expeditions and Discovery Programs. These programs help participants develop leadership skills and bring learning about marine environments to life.

Why is it needed?
REEF’s mission is to protect biodiversity and ocean life. A major facet of that mission is celebrating the importance of diversity. The ocean is home to some of the most diverse habitats on the planet. Marine species and habitats find strength in this diversity and are dependent on it to thrive. 

Diversity is one of nature’s greatest strengths, and it should be ours as well. As individuals and as an organization, we must explore our role in addressing barriers that limit diversity amongst REEF staff, board, interns, and participants, as well as the broader areas of diving, science, and conservation. This starts with investigating how REEF, as a community of ocean enthusiasts, can use our platform to build a better world, and support actions to make scuba diving and science communities accessible and inclusive. 

REEF is committed to building the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our organization. 

How can you get involved?
As a REEF member, there are many ways you can join us in this endeavor. Your time, passion, and financial support are critical in charting the course ahead. You can make a difference by donating to REEF’s Oceans for All Fund. This pooled scholarship fund is supported by individuals, businesses, and foundations committed to investing in a more equitable future for marine conservation. By partnering with REEF and adding your voice to this crucial work, you are:

  • Helping the next generation of ocean stewards gain experience.
  • Creating inclusive opportunities for REEF’s programs and the broader fields of science, diving, and conservation.
  • Cultivating connections with the ocean regardless of location, experience, or financial constraints. 
  • Making a difference for the health of the marine environment.
  • Supporting education and awareness of marine conservation by increasing access and removing financial barriers.

Please join in support today by making a donation here and mentioning Oceans for All in the comments, mailing your donation to REEF at PO Box 370246, Key Largo, FL 33037, or calling us at (305) 852-0030. For more information on how to get involved as a donor or program participant, email giving@REEF.org 

Oceans for All Fund Heros
Thank you to the dedication and generosity of the following individuals and foundations for supporting the Oceans for All Fund. These heroes have committed to multi-year annual support above $2,500. Their support is building connections with the ocean for those who have not yet had the privilege to make it part of their life story.

Current Oceans For All Heros

Scott and Selina Heppell

John McGurl and Michelle Gluck

Johnny Leuthold

Stiefel Foundation

Paul and Marta Bonatz