The TerraMar Project
The TerraMar Project logo
|Motto||Sea Hope. Sea Change. Sea Future.|
|Purpose||Protection of oceans|
The TerraMar Project, in the United States, was an environmentalist nonprofit organization with a focus on ocean protection founded by Ghislaine Maxwell in 2012. A separate ocean conservation charity, TerraMar (UK), was incorporated in 2013 by Maxwell in Salisbury, United Kingdom. TerraMar (US) announced closure on their website and Twitter on July 12, 2019, a week after the charges, brought by New York federal prosecutors against Jeffrey Epstein, became public. However, the UK company continues to exist with Maxwell listed as a director.
The TerraMar Project, United States
The TerraMar Project was founded on September 26, 2012 at the Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Conference in Monterey, California, and focused on the 64% of the ocean that lies outside any single country's jurisdiction. Their mission was to create a "global ocean community" based around the idea of shared ownership of the global commons, also known as the high seas or international waters.
In 2014, on behalf of the TerraMar Project, Maxwell gave a lecture at The University of Texas at Dallas and later that year, a TED talk, at TEDx Charlottesville, about the importance of ocean conservation. Maxwell also spoke at the United Nations as the founder of the TerraMar Project. She accompanied Stuart Beck, a 2013 TerraMar board member, to two United Nations meetings to discuss the project. Maxwell presented at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik Iceland in 2013. Scott Borgerson, listed on TerraMar’s board of directors for 2013, appeared with Maxwell at the Arctic Circle conference. In June of 2014, Maxwell and Borgerson spoke at an event in Washington, DC sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, titled “Governing the Ocean Commons: Growing Challenges, New Approaches”.
Tax documents for US organization the TerraMar Project consistently list Ghislaine Maxwell as the organization's President. Board members included Amir Dossal and the film producer Steven Haft. The TerraMar Project's address was in New York City for 990 tax filings from 2012 through 2015, with later filings showing a Woburn, Massachusetts address for 2016 and 2017. The New York Times reported that TerraMar gave out no money in grants between 2012 and 2017 and that it was described as having unusually high accounting and legal fees for an organization of its size.
Following the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on July 6, 2019, the TerraMar Project announced its closure six days later on July 12, 2019 via Twitter and a statement on the TerraMar Project's website.
TerraMar (UK) is a separate private limited company in the United Kingdom, run by Maxwell with a similar mission to the TerraMar Project. It was incorporated in August 2013 in England and Wales and remains active, with a Salisbury address, as of the last company filing on July 10, 2019. The objects of the charity TerraMar (UK) are listed as "the conservation, protection, and improvement of the environment" and in particular "the oceans, seas, coastlines and tidal areas" including "the conservation and protection of endangered marine flora and fauna, and the education of the public in the fields of marine conservation, marine ecology and related areas". TerraMar (UK) was reported by The Times to have joined the "secretive Telegram messenger app service" on the date that Epstein died in prison.
- "Official Twitter announcement of closure". Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- "About The TerraMar Project". Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "TERRAMAR (UK) - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
- Twohey, Megan; Bernstein, Jacob (2019-07-15). "The 'Lady of the House' Who Was Long Entangled With Jeffrey Epstein". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
- Platt, John. "TerraMar Project launches to celebrate and protect the world's oceans". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Cain, Áine (July 18, 2019). "Ghislaine Maxwell abruptly torpedoed her oceanic non-profit in the wake of the scandal surrounding her associate Jeffrey Epstein". Business Insider. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
- Schneier, Matthew (July 15, 2019). "The Socialite on Epstein's Arm". New York Magazine. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- Schreckinger, Ben; Lippman, Daniel (21 July 2019). "Meet the woman who ties Jeffrey Epstein to Trump and the Clintons". Politico. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Bernstein, Jacob (August 14, 2019). "Whatever Happened to Ghislaine Maxwell's Plan to Save the Oceans?". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Schneier, Mathew (August 19, 2019). "Ghislaine Maxwell's Great Escape Didn't Get Her Far". New York Magazine. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- "TerraMar Project Inc., Nonprofit Explorer, Research Tax-Exempt Organizations". ProPublica. 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Kennedy, Dominic (August 14, 2019). "Ghislaine Maxwell's marine charity faces scrutiny after closure". The Times. Retrieved August 28, 2019.