October 17, 2022
Supporter Spotlight: The Becht Foundation is creating a more sustainable future
Since 2020, the Becht Foundation has partnered with Oceana to protect ocean habitat and to support the people and communities who depend on healthy and abundant oceans.
In just the past two years, this partnership has funded groundbreaking expeditions in the U.S. state of Alaska and Chile that bring to life for policymakers and the public unique marine ecosystems and the need for ocean conservation. A new anchor grant from the Foundation in 2021 allowed Oceana to expand its campaigns in the United Kingdom and open a full-time office in London. The Foundation is also collaborating on an partnership with Oceana Canada and the Only One Collective to develop a communications campaign to end overfishing in Canada and restore abundance to Canada’s wild fish. A core component of this work includes a nationwide digital marketing campaign aimed at mobilizing individuals to support and apply pressure to the Fisheries Ministry and Canadian Government.
When Ann and Bart Becht founded the Foundation in 2006, they focused their efforts on mitigating unnecessary human suffering around the world through areas such as humanitarian aid, education, and biodiversity. However, as they continued researching how they could have the most impact, it became increasingly evident that the way people were overexploiting the world’s natural resources was damaging the planet and would lead to increased human suffering. In 2019, they reassessed the purpose and direction of the charitable trust, resulting in a newfound focus on protecting and restoring biodiversity and fighting climate change with a heavy concentration on marine protection. They based this decision on the ability of ocean ecosystems to recover with the right interventions, the importance of oceans as a carbon sink, and the opportunity to have real and measurable impact with marine organizations like Oceana.
“Partnering with a science-based, campaign-driven organization like Oceana that achieves lasting policy change for the oceans around the world, helps broaden and deepen the Foundation’s reach and impact. Our partnership has bolstered our response to the urgent threats faced by ocean ecosystems and the people who depend on them for their livelihoods and well-being. We also know that the marine space has been chronically underfunded, which is another reason it has become our focus,” Ann and Bart shared on the partnership with Oceana.
The Foundation’s impact in the environmental space comes from a place of experience and dedication to providing a meaningful philanthropic response to combating the many threats to our oceans. Through a collaborative approach with its partners, the Foundation drives systemic change, including the shared goal of creating 1.5 million square miles (4 million square kilometers) of protected marine ecosystems in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Becht Foundation is a results-focused organization with the purpose of protecting and restoring our planet’s biodiversity through marine conservation. It supports three strategic areas within ocean conservation: (1) protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030, (2) fighting overfishing and destructive fishing; and (3) protecting coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves.
Thanks to Ann and Bart’s vision and commitment to conserving and protecting our ocean resources, together Oceana and BFCT are creating a more sustainable future for the oceans and the people who depend on them. Find out more about Becht Foundation at bechtfoundation.org.