Blue NGO's

Blue NGO's

In many conversations about the environment and sustainability issues with some of my most engaged friends, we often face the same dilemma: what can we do to help effectively?

Sometimes we romanticize starting our own NGO to defend our causes, but unless you feel very strongly about a specific matter and are willing to dedicate your life and career to this endeavor, it might not be the best option.

The good news is that there are already extremely committed people in the world working on a lot of important things and achieving amazing results. Realistically speaking, if you want to help the best thing you can do is to join them. “Find something you care deeply about and contribute to it as best you can”, a very dear friend once told me. 

If you, like us, are passionate about the ocean, summarised below are some of the most prominent NGOs working on ocean conservation worldwide.


5Gyres has led the effort to research aquatic plastic pollution and to find solutions for regaining a plastic-free ocean. After conducting 16 ocean research expeditions and obtaining unprecedented data on plastic pollution, 5Gyres passed the first ever state microbead legislation and co-sponsored a national microbead bill in the U.S. 


Now ladies, please pay close attention. These tiny plastic beads (listed as polyethylene and polypropylene in the ingredients) are used in face & body scrubs and toothpaste. They are washed directly down the drain and into our water systems, where they harm our waterways and the animals that live there. It is one of the most dangerous sources of plastic pollution, and 5Gyres needs our help to ban these products from commerce completely.  


Remember to look for polyethylene and polypropylene - if it doesn't list either of these in the ingredients, then you're microbead-free! You can also sign the petition to help 5Gyres continue to pressure major cosmetic companies to remove microbeads from their products.




Ocean Conservancy seeks to educate and empower citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. This NGO was founded in 1972 and for 30 years they have organized Coastal Cleanups all over the world. Ocean trash is a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and local economies. The Cleanup has grown immensely in the 30 years since the first official event. It has become the perfect illustration of what can be accomplished when people come together around a common goal. You can join this big volunteer effort for our ocean and waterways by participating in the International Coastal Cleanup.

Of course cleanups alone can’t solve this pollution problem. Nevertheless, each year Ocean Conservancy releases an Ocean Trash Index, providing a snapshot of what's trashing our ocean so we can work to prevent specific items from reaching the water in the first place. Volunteers have collected data since 1986, and the numbers are used to raise awareness, identify hotspots for debris or unusual trash events, and inform policy solutions.




Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

On their website you find information about their campaigns and how you can volunteer, onshore and offshore. You can also become a Cove Guardian or donate to help these amazing people that every year travel to Japan to monitor the infamous Cove in Taiji during the six-month annual hunt season. Yes, the same “Cove” of the documentary that won the Academy Award in 2010. It was Sea Shepherd the organization that first exposed the brutality of the slaughter of dolphins and small whales in Taiji, Japan, revealing undercover footage and images to the world in 2003. Due to the efforts of the Cove Guardians to expose this holocaust to a worldwide audience, the slaughter is no longer Taiji’s dirty, little secret.



Founded in 2011, Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Oceana seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world's marine life. Among their many amazing campaigns, one particularly caught my attention. According to some estimates, billions of pounds of sea life are caught worldwide every year as bycatch. Some fisheries discard more fish at sea than what they bring to port. And, others injure and kill thousands of whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles and sharks each year. The concept of discarding perfectly edible fish in our age of widespread hunger and scarcity is unethical and honestly, insane.


I personally admired their realistic perspective and their effort advocating for science-based fishery management to restore the world's oceans. In their blog you can find more info about their work and what you can do to help them. Check also the 10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans.


Do your part for a clean and healthy ocean!

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