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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Seacology

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Forest Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: Seacology is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization with the sole purpose of preserving the environments and cultures of islands worldwide. We implement solutions by asking islanders to identify a communal need Seacology could support, such as an elementary school or fresh water delivery system. In exchange the village agrees to establish and manage a marine or terrestrial reserve. Our innovative win-win model is inexpensive, maintains indigenous land ownership and improves the entire community.

Geographic areas served: International in scope, Seacology supports island environments and cultures worldwide.

Programs: Seacology supports island villages and ecosystems around the world. To date, Seacology has launched 210 island-based projects, saving 1,012,686 acres of marine ecosystems and 159,312 acres of terrestrial habitat. In return for establishing island marine and forest reserves, Seacology has helped islanders build facilities such as schools, community centers, solar energy systems, and other critically-needed structures, and funded programs providing scholarships, vital medical services and supplies for island communities. Seacology has projects in 44 countries on 100 islands around the globe. A list of all our island projects can be found at www.seacology.org.

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor Member of Full Circle Fund

Rating: 5

Amazing work protecting islands. I've met their staff and they are devoted and knowledgeable.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family has been involved with Seacology for over 10 years. We have supported Seacology for that long because they continually impress us by their organization's single minded focus on protecting some of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. It is run by a group of smart and passionate people who have a track record of finding innovative and sustainable solutions.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology is a conservation organization that has a truly unique model. This non profit approaches local communities to find out what they need. Seacology then funds a school, medical clinic, or other key need in exchange for the communities commitment to protect an area of the local environment. In this way both the environment and local people benefit. Seacology’s work is protecting island rainforests, coral reefs, and more – some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Check out their fantastic web site for more information.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been so impressed by how Seacology helps protect precious and diverse island ecosystems all over the globe. It is encouraging to see how they use a simple yet highly effective strategy and find solutions for both the locals and the environment. Seacology is making a positive difference for the future which as a Diver I constantly see the need for.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such an awesome cause. I love keeping up with their projects!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a well run, efficient organization that funds projects that are "Win Win" in their results. The villagers get that they need and in exchange the organization is able to preserve coral reefs and rain forests. A great solution to the demands that development has in these remote islands in the world.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Every time I take a flight I make a donation to Seacology to help preserve areas of the world that are still untouched. I am proud of their innovative work. And they are so heartfelt in their thanks for our donations. I highly recommend them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

It is with great confidence and pleasure that I make a yearly donation to Seacology. More than any other organization that deals with remote problems, I know that somewhere in the world Seacology will be changing the daily lives of people who live in areas challenged by their proximity to our planet's ever-changing seas. The ways in which Seacology works with the local people, solving local problems, are varied, imaginative and impressively successful!

Laura Tietz

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to numerous foundations and Seacology is the one I am most proud to donate to. The work they do is not only unique, but helps truly make the world a better place. It feels good knowing you can help as well! I highly suggest donating and learning more about Seacology and the great work they do.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology may be the most cost-effective environmental nonprofit in the world! Working with field representatives in island nations around the globe, Seacology's small and dedicated team has saved hundreds of endangered species, coral reefs, and rainforests. To see their work in action, take one of the several island expeditions Seacology offers each year. The trips are a lot of fun and it is really rewarding to see the huge difference Seacology has made in people's lives.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seacology is a great nonprofit with an innovative strategy for conservation. By working with the people, Seacology identifies what motivates the local community to protect the environment and then supports these efforts thereby making lasting change. Seacology is doing amazing work around the globe--changing lives in many places and protecting the environment.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology does what every nonprofit should, and few actually do - rather than imposing their own assumptions on people they help out, instead they ask them what it is they need, and how they can help. In addition to this, they manage to directly help groups of people in need while also helping them preserve local environment. This kind of work should serve as a model for all nonprofits.

1 Craig T.

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology performs incredibly valuable work all over the world in the most productive methodology I have witnessed. By partnering, educating and self-empowering people, and providing incredibly valuable, tangible, physical community benefits, they are preserving the very ecosystems that these peoples need to survive on and improving the planet's environment at the same time.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been scuba divers for more than twenty years. During that time we have been disheartened to see the marked decline that has occurred in island environments around the world. In searching for ways that we could help prevent that decline, we ran across Seacology. As we investigated the organization, studying its Form 990 and checking donors' comments on various web sites, we became very interested in the organization, so decided to start out with a moderate donation.

The thing that initially interested us most about Seacology is their win-win approach in which they provide funding for some resource, such as a community center or a water filtration plant needed by the local island people, in return for a pledge by those people to protect some endangered part of their island environment. Rather than just giving money away or going in and telling the people to protect the environmnet, Seacology gets buy-in from those people through this quid pro quo approach.

After becoming donors, several things immediately impressed us about Seacology. For one, they did not constantly hound us seeking additional donations as other organizations have done. Second, they did not waste our contribution on slick publications that have little real content, or on cheap trinkets such as address labels or stuffed animals that do nothing to protect island environments. Instead, Seacology sends out a nice, but not overly slick, annual report that provides details about where the organization has focused its efforts and distributed its resources during the preceding year.

After giving increasing amounts to Seacology each year, my wife and I finally decided this past year to join Seacology on one of their trips. These trips usually involve some scuba diving since many of the donors, as well as the organization's director, are avid scuba divers like us, and a visit to at least one of Seacology's project sites. Our trip was to the Philippines where we visited several project sites.

For us, this trip really confirmed our belief in Seacology's activities and cemented our commitment to the organization. We got a chance to meet and spend considerable time with other donors as well as the organization's Director, Duane Silverstein, and the Field Representative for the Philippines, Ferdie Marcelo, both outstanding highly-committed individuals. However, the real highlight for us was a chance to visit project sites and see first-hand how our contributions were being put to good use. The thing that was especially rewarding for us was to actually sense the gratitude the island people have to Seacology for providing the resources they needed, and the people's commitment toward fulfilling their part of the bargain by protecting their island's natural resources.

In the future we intend to increase our support of Seacology. We would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in protecting and sustaining the world's natural environment to do the same.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

What I like about Seacology is that while saving ocean and island environments, their projects often have a big educational component, so islanders (especially school kids) understand and are inspired to save their own habitats. Seacology understands that this is the only way to create lasting social and environmental change.

Previous Stories
9

Donor

Rating: 5

There is no "fat" and no pretention to Seacology. This is not an organization of First World folks having their own agenda for islanders around the globe. No, this is an organization of people who listen to what the needs of local people are - and find a "win win" solution to problems so that islanders in poor countries can improve their lives and save their environment at the same time. Also, really important to me is that Seacology gets huge bang for it's bucks. I know these people. They are smart, innovative, dedicated, and sound

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our environmental non-profit's mission is to increase the number and size of Marine Protected Areas to at least 20% of the world ocean by 2020. One critical element of this mission is that all such MPAs include engagement by local communities and be supported by effective enforcement. Otherwise, they are merely 'paper MPAs'.

Seacology is one of the most effective environmental NGOs we have found in this regard: their agreements with island nations and communities ensure that habitats and environments are truly and meaningfully protected for years to come. We only wish governments could boast a similar success rate.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a researcher in the environmental sciences, I know how much we know about the environment, but rarely do I see it actively protected. Seacology's approach to protecting crucial habitats is effective and involves the local inhabitants of the region in the protection and ownership of their unique environment. For someone who sees a lot of knowledge and little action, it is inspiring.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have always loved the ocean since I was a child. Now as an adult, the ocean still calls. When I am affording the opportunity to take vacations, there is no other place I'd rather be then on an island.

Seacology places similar value on the ocean and its islands. They are one of the few non-GMO's that provide a perfect balance between conservation, while honoring the people of the islands. The concept is brilliant, their holistic approach innovative, and their compassion for their work commendable. The work that Seacology does on this planet is incredibly important. Thank you to those that make their work possible.

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology is an excellent non-profit to donate to because they've always come up with innovative ways to save islands. That's why I like donating to them - they stick to their focus, yet find extraordinary ways to incorporate new trends in geopolitics and environmental science in their projects. As an ex-islander, I appreciate what they're doing and will continue to support them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I admire Seacology's work because this is not your traditional non-profit, which is all talk and no action. The organization's projects are backed up by meticulous research and its ideas are thoughtfully implemented across the world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been working on environmental issues in Asian islands, and I've come across many communities in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea who have benefited from Seacology's knowledge and investment. It's wonderful to see a non-profit which not only targets environmental challenges, but is also involved in sustainable and culturally sensitive development of rural communities. Keep up the good work, Seacology!