Blue Ocean Institute

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Blue Ocean Institute (BOI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit conservation organization headquartered at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Blue Ocean was founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina (president) and collaborator Mercédès Lee. A central focus of Blue Ocean Institute is to inspire a closer relationship with the sea through science, art, and literature. It shares information that enlightens personal choice, instills hope and helps restore living abundance in the sea.


Dr. Safina, a MacArthur fellow with a PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University, is the author of several acclaimed books[1] and more than 100 scientific and popular publications on ecology and oceans.

Blue Ocean Institute is staffed by research scientists, writers and fisheries experts. Its board members have diverse backgrounds in publishing, science, energy, art, and other fields.[2] It is funded primarily by foundations and individual gifts.

Areas of Focus[edit]

The organization’s programs are designed to inspire effective actions for the ocean – whether they be consumers and chefs searching for sustainable seafood, commercial fishermen rigging gear to avoid the unintended entrapment of seabirds, and sea turtles; or understanding how climate change affects people, wildlife and the sea. Dr. Safina and his team also research and communicate newly emerging ocean-related aspects of climate change, for both scientific and non-technical audiences, in outlets ranging from The New York Times to science journals to faith-based magazines.

Part of Blue Ocean Institute's message is that we must take care of the ocean if we want it to continue taking care of us. "When people defend their fishing," Dr. Safina has said, "their fishing gets worse; when they defend their fish, their fishing gets good."[3]

Central to Blue Ocean Institute is the concept of a Sea Ethic – an invitation to forge a stronger, more conscious connection to nature, especially the sea.[4] Rather than focusing on the dire state of the world’s oceans, BOI’s efforts aim to inspire a deep and compelling commitment to conserve the ocean's richness, beauty and diversity.

Carl Safina’s writings and nationwide speaking bridge the gap between the scientific and literary worlds, capturing the mystery, wonder, and importance of the sea and its creatures.

Education Efforts[edit]

Blue Ocean Institute’s science office is based at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS),[5] where Dr. Safina is an adjunct professor. The organization has a partnership with SoMAS to conduct research, teach courses, work with students, and plan new collaborations in order to strengthen public understanding of emerging climate and ocean issues.

In addition, the organization works with Long Island Aquarium, introducing some 15,000 people annually to the local saltwater environment. On board and in-the-water classes reach families, children and young adults.

Selected Partnerships

  • Chefs Collaborative
  • Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS)
  • Lindblad Expeditions
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Long Island Aquarium
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium


  1. ^ [1], Carl Safina’s books
  2. ^ [2], Blue Ocean Institute Board
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-20. , Reckless by-catch is destroying populations.
  4. ^ [3], FISHING WITH -- Carl Safina; The Biologist and the Sea: Lessons in Marine-Life Restoration
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2009-09-20. , Partnership with Stonybrook University.

External links[edit]