sustainable ocean alliance


Looking back at 2022, I am humbled by the incredible work the SOA team brought to life.
It was a record-breaking fundraising year, which allowed us to accelerate dozens of new ocean solutions that you can read about in this report. We now have more than 7,000 young ocean leaders around the world, and 82 hubs across 77 countries. The team came together for the first time since the pandemic at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal, where we proudly cohosted the Youth and Innovation Forum. Many of us met in person for the very first time on the beautiful beach in Cascais, where we had the honor to watch more than 120 youth devise real-world solutions to some of the greatest threats facing our ocean – and even enjoyed a surprise appearance from actor and activist Jason Momoa! From our realized impact to strengthening internal bonds, it was truly SOA's greatest year yet.

Now looking forward to 2023, it is clear we still have so much work to do. We are bracing for the defining climate fight of our generation – deep-seabed mining. SOA has been campaigning vigorously against this destructive practice for more than two years, and recently delivered a collaborative petition with more than a quarter of a million signatures calling for a moratorium. The International Seabed Authority is set to vote on whether to allow the mining of the deep sea in July, and if approved, it could be open for business that very month. In the history of the destruction of our planet, our generation has never been present to prevent detrimental actions from taking place. This is why we are spending so much of our time restoring, regenerating, and rehabilitating. But now, we can prevent this horrific practice from ever starting. We cannot afford to stay silent and do nothing. We cannot afford to stay on the sidelines and watch those in power determine our fate and our future. This is why we must urgently continue to build our network of young ocean leaders – and ocean allies of all ages. It is critical we have a voice in world-altering decisions, as it is our future most at stake.

While we know we have our work cut out for us, I hope you are as inspired and buoyed by this report as I am. The climate crisis cannot be solved by one person. But together, we are creating meaningful change to protect our planet, our future, and each other.

Signature of Daniela Fernandez

Daniela V. Fernandez

Founder and CEO,
Sustainable Ocean Alliance



Our global network of people and solutions are making a measurable impact. These numbers are cumulative through December 31, 2022.


solutions accelerated

with headquarters in 77 different countries

investments and grants

from SOA to our solutions pipeline

Countries represented

by SOA's youth leaders and solutions

youth-led hubs

engaging over 200,000 participants in global activations


within SOA's solutions


raised by SOA startups

five areas of ocean HEALTH IMPACT

Sustainable Ocean Alliance takes a unique approach to solving key ocean challenges. By allocating funding across nonprofit grants, market-driven startup investments, and local initiatives, we support a diverse community of ocean solutions. This unique strategy has led to SOA supporting 266 ocean solutions across 77 countries over the past 5 years.

Through collaboration with ocean impact entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and scientific advisors, we have developed a methodology for organizing and collecting impact data across five key ocean areas. Each solution represented in this report falls into one or more of these impact categories. We hope that this report will encourage funders to allocate more resources towards solving these ocean challenges.

Craig Dudenhoeffer
Chief Impact & Investments Officer


Greenhouse Gas: Blue Carbon & CO2e Removal or Avoidance

2022 IMPACT:
1,143 metric tons of CO2 avoided or removed

Greenhouse gasses (GHGs) absorb infrared solar radiation and trap heat in the atmosphere, resulting in global warming, climate change, increased ocean temperatures and sea level rise. CO2, one of the most common GHGs, is absorbed by the ocean, which in turn, causes ocean acidification. In 2022, 36.8 gigatons of carbon (CO2) were emitted globally.

By supporting solutions that remove or avoid GHG emissions, or that sequester and store CO2, SOA can help reduce these harmful environmental effects and improve the health of our ocean.



Waste reduction & the Circular economy

2022 IMPACT:
1,794 metric tons of waste removed, avoided, or recycled
(including 446 metric tons of plastic)

Every year, 11 million metric tons of plastic enter our marine environments, killing marine life, destroying sensitive ocean ecosystems, and polluting food sources that support livelihoods around the world.

SOA champions solutions that remove these harmful pollutants from the ocean or avoid their use altogether. Their work in turn helps to build the circular economy, which promotes the extension of product lifecycles through recycling and upcycling, and aims to decrease solid waste and pollution.


Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

2022 IMPACT:

  • 7,700 square meters of mangrove forest preserved or Restored
    4,637 Square meters of coral reef preserved or restored

Marine and coastal ecosystems protect crucial biodiversity, and provide services vital to our existence. These areas include coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, salt marshes, and the deep seabed. Together, they serve as critical areas for wildlife reproduction, nurseries for marine organisms, and landscapes for carbon capture.

Solutions in this category measure impact by reporting the area of marine habitat they restore or protect. In 2022, this included establishing 3,573 square meters of coral reef, and planting 19,425 mangroves. This category also includes 11 projects related to local education and advocacy around the detrimental impacts of deep-seabed mining.


Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & seafood alternatives

2022 IMPACT:
56.9 metric tons of Blue Foods Produced
55 metric tons of bycatch avoided

More than three billion people rely on seafood as a primary source of protein, and 260 million depend on fisheries for their livelihoods. Overfishing, and illegal and industrial practices are killing wildlife and destroying wild places. At the same time, aquaculture seeks to meet demand and reduce the burden on the ocean, but can result in high levels of pollution if not performed sustainably.

Emerging alternatives to any form of aquatically-derived animal protein are plant-based and new methods of cellular agriculture. SOA supports solutions that produce sustainable Blue Foods and those that help move our food systems towards a sustainable future.



2022 IMPACT:
3,149 People Trained or Educated
156 Reports & Publications
296 Workshops

Ocean data, literacy, and research projects help us build the knowledge base we need to activate all other ocean solutions. While there may not be a singular category to measure their impact, in 2022 we have elected to report on education, training, and knowledge sharing.

The majority of projects in this category represent grants to SOA's global community, via Hubs. Through hosting over 150 events and activations around the world, their work has engaged over 200,000 people. These projects inform policy, drive innovation, and equip new audiences with the knowledge they need to become change agents in their own right.






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Pollution: Waste Reduction & Circular Use

Cornelis Banabera

Leading Waste Management from Village to District

Twenty indigenous youth from Alor have been selected as Thresher Shark Conservation Champions by the Thresher Shark Indonesia organization and have developed a pilot project to establish a waste management system from the village to the district level since that currently does not exist, leading many villagers to throw waste in coastal areas. This project will expand the waste management system to 3 villages in close collaboration with stakeholders.

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North America

Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives

Niza Contreras

Increasing Fisheries’ Resilience to Climate Change

Niza is leading a research project to understand the adaptive strategies fishing cooperatives in Mexico are utilizing to maintain fish populations as climate changes. Her goal is to provide these strategies in an open-source database to inform US fisheries along coastal California and beyond.

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South America

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Lisandra Maria Barroso Matos

Virtual Diving Project

Virtual Diving is an environmental education project inspired by Google Cardboard. Through virtual reality glasses made of recycled cardboard, students take a virtual tour in different marine ecosystems using the Google app "Expeditions". The Virtual Diving team knows that most people never have and probably never will have the opportunity to dive in their entire lives. They also know that this is a big problem for the oceans, because it is impossible to preserve what you do not know. Through their virtual tours, they show people what exists beyond the waves. The main themes they explore are coral bleaching and marine pollution.

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Sri Lanka


Ecosystems and Species: Preservation & Restoration

Roshima Vithanage

Marine Eco-Systems Restoration and Ocean Education

This project will expand a coral nursery for a small scale reef rehabilitation (planting 25 new corals) in Southern Sri Lanka as well has train 5 ocean ambassadors to monitor the coral sites. They will also collect marine debris (500kg) and develop a program for ocean literacy to promote sustainable development and begin implementation in schools in the region as well as conduct teacher trainings.

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United Kingdom

Europe & United Kingdom

Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Ellie Mackay, Alex Dilnot-Smith

Ellipsis Earth

Ellipsis Earth scans rivers and coastlines with drones, processes these images with a uniquely-trained algorithm to create detailed heatmaps of hotspots, and advises partners on the best approaches to tackle each pollution challenge.

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Ecosystems and Species: Preservation & Restoration

Iddrisu Amadu

Save The Dolphins (STEDs)

This project builds awareness of the conservation status of dolphins and other marine mammals and builds the capacity of fishermen to provide rescue assistance to stranded dolphins and other marine mammals. This project was done through a combination of workshops and media advocacy, and a volunteer program.

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Marine Data or Research

Faqih Akbar Alghozali

Indonesian Elasmobranch Citizen Science Network

The Elasmobranch Citizen Science Network is creating an Indonesia-wide Citizen Science Network to support elasmobranch conservation through a mobile-reporting database. Elasmobranch Project Indonesia works with government and non-profit organizations and other stakeholders in the region to recruit and train youth from every region to identify and report shark sightings and landings.

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Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Emme Christie

JCCYC Marine Education Podcast Series

Fulbright Scholar Emme Christie will lead the production of a JCCYC podcast and social media series on marine ecology, environmental impact assessments, and climate change, targeting Caribbean youth and relevant issues.

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Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Delio da Costa

SOA HUB Timor-Leste

This project funded the development of the SOA Timor-Leste Hub. In affiliation with the Timorese Youths Initiative for Development organization, they carried out two ocean literacy projects: an ocean story-telling competition and an educational webinar.

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