Pacific Life Foundation Donates $2 Million to Marine Mammal and Ocean-Focused Nonprofits | Oceana

Pacific Life Foundation Donates $2 Million to Marine Mammal and Ocean-Focused Nonprofits

Press Release Date: August 22, 2017

Location: Newport Beach, Calif.


Anna Baxter | email:
Anna Baxter

Media Contact
Jesse Page
(949) 219-4575

The Pacific Life Foundation today announced a $2 million grant to four national marine mammal and ocean-focused nonprofit agencies. Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund will each receive a commitment of $500,000 distributed over a five year period, with the first payment in 2017.

“For over two decades, the Pacific Life Foundation has advocated for the conservation and research of marine mammals and to improve the health of our oceans,” said Tennyson Oyler, president of the Pacific Life Foundation. “The humpback whale is at the heart of the Pacific Life brand and we feel it’s critical to support these agencies in their work to protect ocean health and marine mammal life.”

Funding from the Pacific Life Foundation will support:

  • Ocean Conservancy’s critical work to protect marine mammals from the harmful impacts of trash and keep the ocean healthy. Funding will directly support the recruitment of one million volunteers for participation in Coastal Cleanup Day; expansion of media relations efforts to raise greater awareness of ocean trash, removal and prevention; engagement of Trash Free Seas Alliance members to support emerging initiatives aimed at solving the complex issues around preventing ocean trash; and education of the Clean Swell app to grow the nonprofit’s marine debris data.
  • Oceana’s efforts to gain science-based fishery management measures in U.S. fisheries that will reduce bycatch of marine mammals and other animals; protect and restore small-fish populations at the base of the food web that supports marine mammals, larger fish and seabirds; protect from destructive bottom trawling of more than 100,000 square miles of important underwater habitat off the West Coast; save endangered sea turtles from being killed in shrimp trawl nets in the Southeast Shrimp Trawl Fishery; persuade Congress to protect sharks by passing a national ban on the sale or possession of shark fins; and save marine mammals such as whales, orcas and dolphins by defending the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • The Nature Conservancy’s focus to reinvent ocean information systems in California by transforming slow, outdated systems into a model of ocean information management built on real-time data streams that provide continuous signals of ocean health; and development of a new suite of tools that capture and share high-quality, real-time information for adaptive and effective decision making, which can be shared with ocean managers and fishing interests around the country and world.
  • World Wildlife Fund’s efforts to reduce the devastating impacts of bycatch by working with both fisheries and policymakers, including leveraging the Marine Mammal Protection Act import rules to help develop and promote new technologies such as gillnet lights that help curb fisheries’ bycatch and save marine species.

Since 1992, the Pacific Life Foundation has provided more than $14 million in grants that have directly supported healthy oceans and the conservation of marine mammals.

Supporting Quotes

“We are honored to have the support from the Pacific Life Foundation for our critical work to protect marine wildlife and coastal communities from the pervasive issue of marine debris,” said Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “Through Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, more than 11 million volunteers have removed over 220 million pounds of trash from our beaches and waterways. With the Pacific Life Foundation’s support, we will be able to bring new volunteers from around the world to help meet our goal of trash free seas.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the Pacific Life Foundation for this generous commitment to support Oceana’s science-based fishery management work,” said Oceana CEO, Andy Sharpless. “With these funds, Oceana will work to win victories for our oceans, campaign for policies that will protect whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles from entanglement in fishing gear and promote responsible fishing in the United States.”

“The Pacific Life Foundation funding will directly support our programs in California’s fisheries as we invest in technology, innovative gear and fishing practices that protect marine life such as whales and sea turtles while creating more resilient fisheries,” said Michael Bell, director of the California Coastal and Marine Program at The Nature Conservancy.

“Ensuring our marine ecosystems are healthy and resilient is the core of ocean conservation,” said Michele Kuruc, vice president, Ocean Policy, World Wildlife Fund. “The Pacific Life Foundation’s generous donation will help advance our efforts to improve fisheries, strengthen our investments in new technologies, and drive policy results that help protect the abundant biodiversity our oceans provide.”

About Pacific Life and the Pacific Life Foundation

The Pacific Life Foundation was established in 1984. Together with Pacific Life, the Foundation has contributed more than $100 million to community and national nonprofit organizations. Grants are made to organizations that address a broad spectrum of social needs.

Offering insurance since 1868, Pacific Life provides a wide range of insurance products, annuities, and mutual funds, and offers a variety of investment products and services to individuals, businesses, and pension plans. Pacific Life counts more than half of the 100 largest U.S. companies as its clients. For additional company information, including current financial strength ratings, visit

Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Client count as of June 2017 is compiled by Pacific Life using the 2017 FORTUNE 500® list.