Emerging conservation leaders, particularly in the developing world, lack the support and capacity to be truly successful in advancing ocean health. Marine conservation is missing out on tremendous energy and innovative ideas due to a lack of diversity. We need a new generation of conservation leaders with 21st century skills.

The Marine Conservation Leadership Program (MCLP) aims to prepare, empower, and convene a global network of conservation leaders through our four inter-related initiatives. We support conservation entrepreneurs through the Marine Conservation Action Fund (MCAF), which provides micro-financing, technical support, and expertise to conservation projects in the developing world.

We are building a global network to address ocean conservation challenges through an emerging conservation leaders fellows program. This initiative involves bringing together fellows, Anderson Cabot Center staff and other professionals, and stakeholders to share resources and best practices, facilitate peer support, and promote collective action in support of conservation goals.

The Marine Conservation Action Fund has supported 140 conservation projects in more than 40 countries to create lasting impact.

The MCLP is building a pipeline for future conservation leaders by engaging students pursuing degrees in conservation and youth interested in ocean conservation and science. Anderson Cabot Center internships support college, graduate, and postdoctoral students and provide hands-on experience with Anderson Cabot Center projects and New England Aquarium education programs. These efforts enhance their skills and knowledge in science, conservation, and communication, setting the stage for their future and the success of future conservation efforts.

We also mobilize public action in support of key conservation goals through targeted public action campaigns and by training “key influencers,” who effectively communicate and lead others to action. We leverage the Aquarium’s reach to help build public support for vital conservation action.

[IMG] A baby turtle crawls out of the sand.
A baby turtle crawls out of the sand. Photo courtesy: Marc Ward, Sea Turtles Forever.

Current Projects

  1. Marine Conservation Action Fund

    MCAF provides helps to protect and promote ocean biodiversity through small-scale, time-sensitive, community-based programs and to foster the long-term success of conservation leaders as agents of change for the ocean

  2. MCAF Fellows Program

    This program brings select MCAF grantees to the New England Aquarium to strengthen their connections with Anderson Cabot Center researchers, build their capacity to convey the significance of their work, raise awareness of their work among peers and the public, and share inspiration and enthusiasm with Aquarium youth audiences.

  3. Future Conservation Leaders

    The New England Aquarium develops youth environmental leadership through teen and college internships, fellowships, and a vast corps of more than 1,600 volunteers engaged in service and stewardship.

  4. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)

    The New England Aquarium has developed the nationally recognized National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI), which works with more than 170 science centers across 38 states to educate the public in constructive conversations about climate change.

Banner photo courtesy Hamed Moshiri, Plan for the Land Society.