28 years dedicated to ocean conservation

“Caring about the environment is not something one picks. It is not like deciding a political affiliation or choosing a religion. It is the responsibility shared by all people, to protect the common resource on which we depend for our survival. In this case, the common resource is Planet Earth.”

Charles Saylan

OCS Executive Director and Co-Founder

Who we are and what we do

Ocean Conservation Society is a nonprofit organization conducting long-term marine mammal research and educational projects for the protection of the oceans and marine wildlife. We study dolphins, whales and other species in the wild and use our scientific data to bring about policy changes, raise public awareness and protect these animals for future generations to appreciate.

 The inspiration behind our work

Our future depends on the understanding that we are part of an interdependent system. The spirit of our research is to help us to know more about our place in nature. We must respect our planet and leave space for other species to thrive.

As we learn more, we are committed to teaching others what we know, as our hope for coming generations lies in their understanding and appreciation of our environment. One of our main goals is to aid in the implementation of sustainable development strategies toward a healthy future for our oceans.


Science-based studies to effectively guide marine conservation


years of ongoing OCS field research, one of the longest-running projects on marine mammals existing worldwide

Scientific research is our foundation


We focus on field studies that have a measurable conservation impact. We are the only nonprofit conducting long-term, year-round research on marine mammals off Los Angeles, California.


We share our data with other research institutions to better understand trends, identify important habitats to inform decisions about Marine Protected Areas, and protect marine mammals.


We’ve published 30+ peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals to help answer important research questions and draw accurate conclusions based on professionally conducted experimentation.


Education & active social engagement as a measure of success


OCS workshops, seminars, lectures and educational presentations given to K-12 students, colleges and universities, museums, aquaria – and more

Multifaceted educational approaches

We are committed to widely sharing what we’ve learned about the marine life we study and the need to protect them via a wide variety of media and initiatives. Over the decades, we’ve conducted numerous educational, capacity-building and outreach programs and campaigns, earning a Certificate of Commendations by the City of Los Angeles, plus many other awards for the quality of our research and conservation work.

Our educational programs are built on a foundation of science – we not only raise public awareness of marine environmental issues, but also stimulate active social engagement in them. This approach helps us inspire decision-makers and the public to take action toward the conservation of these magnificent ocean species and the only Planet we have.

Mentorship & Training

The OCS team, led by Dr. Maddalena Bearzi, actively mentors and trains our volunteers to become confidently involved in hands-on marine mammal research and educational outreach activities.

Educational Outreach

We conduct seminars, workshops and community events geared for all educational levels, and have lectured in the U.S. and around the world.

Online + Offline

We develop online educational campaigns and offline components, including pamphlets and books. We highly-engage with media via hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, tv and radio appearances.

To request media material, please contact us

“Ocean Conservation Society has an extraordinary commitment to helping connect the community with the ocean. We worked together for years on outreach and education programs, always trying something new and different to engage kids. They combine education, scientific research, vision and a whole bunch of fun to create very compelling programs.”

Brian Johnson

OCS Scientific Advisor - and collaborator since 1999

“Since 1998, OCS has studied the behavior, ecology, and ecotoxicology of marine mammals in and around Santa Monica Bay. They’ve surveyed locals to understand their knowledge and perceptions of local marine mammals, created educational programs for students and adults, whale-aware educational materials for boaters, and generally worked towards our coexistence with these magnificent species in ways that support their population persistence, recovery and welfare. Such interdisciplinary, and human-focused conservation science stands as a model for others around the world seeking to preserve biodiversity.”

Dr. Daniel T. Blumstein

Professor - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Institute of the Environment & Sustainability, University of California Los Angeles


 Donations are urgently needed for our scientific & educational work to continue

Your contribution matters


During these uncertain economic times, we rely on your help more than ever. By supporting Ocean Conservation Society, 100% of your donation will be used to continue our long-standing on-the-water research and scientific publications that are the basis for our hands-on, action-oriented educational campaigns.

Give dolphins and whales a chance to live in healthy oceans. Give future generations hope. No donation is too small to make a difference.


OCS and the oceans thank you for your generous support

The Marion R. Weber Family Fund