Ocean Leadership Microgrants

Supporting youth-led grassroots projects all over the world. 






We provide small grants and mentorship to ocean leaders between 18-35 years old to support their grassroots efforts to address critical ocean health problems.

With support and collaboration from our partners, we focus on impacting key aspects of ocean health.

Blue Carbon

Capture and storage of carbon by marine ecosystems and species (blue carbon) is critical to restoring and re-centering the stewardship of these ecosystems within coastal communities.

Mangrove and salt marsh remove carbon from the atmosphere at a rate 10x greater and store 5x more carbon per acre than tropical forests. Source: NOAA

Grantee Photo: Carbon Ethics (Indonesia)


Supporting science, policy, and innovation to allow fish and fishing communities to survive climate change.

Fish provide 3.3 billion people with 20% of their animal protein and up to 10% of people worldwide rely on fishing for their livelihood. Source: UN FAO

Grantee Photo: Ocean Purpose Project (Singapore)

EDF and SOA are supporting youth to advance climate resilient fisheries


Deep sea and shallow coral ecosystems are critical in supporting oceanic food webs and cycling and storing key nutrients and minerals.

A global avg. increase of 1.5°C will destroy 70-90% of all coral reefs. Source: IPCC

Grantee Photo: Cape Eleuthera Institute (Bahamas)

Education & Research

The world needs as many people as possible to connect to the ocean, understand it, and protect it using the latest tools and science.

40% of people live within 100km of the ocean. Source: UN

Grantee Photo: Dive into Marine Science (Gambia)


1Password supports providing ocean literacy for youth

Impact 2020 - 2021

74,451 kg pollution removed

4,505 tonnes C02 sequestered

23,975 people participating directly

304 events 


Grants to projects in 65 countries, to leaders averaging 28 years of age.

Explore All Grants

Blue Carbon

Featured Projects

  • phoenix_expedition

    Phœnix Expedition


    Sailing from France to California to document and promote local solutions to regenerate marine ecosystems, focusing on Blue Carbon and CO2 emissions avoidance. 

    Ahead of the voyage, this project will be using social media platforms and partnerships to create educational material to raise awareness around Blue Carbon. Ten percent of all funds received will go towards the restoration of coastal habitats with local partners that are visited throughout the journey.

    Leader: Louise-Oceane Delion, 27


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  • Four month Mangrove Nursery

    Mikoko Pamoja

    Gazi Bay, Kenya

    Mikoko Pamoja was the first community-led project to protect and restore mangroves through the sale of carbon credits totaling 2,000 tonnes annually.

    Mikoko Pamoja plants 4,000 mangrove seedlings (Sonneratia Alba) annually, which capture carbon and serve as a carbon credit. Changes to the sites from human development and climate change have made it so that typical mangrove planting no longer works. SOA grants support them in piloting the Riley Encasement Technique, an innovative replanting method, in a bid to rehabilitate mangroves in the denuded high energy intertidal areas of Gazi bay. And instead of encasing seedlings in plastic they use clay pots.

    The carbon through storage and avoided deforestation totals 2,000 tonnes annually, as certified by ACES

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  • Carbon Ethics-1-1

    Carbon Ethics


    Carbon Ethics researches and restores coastal ecosystems through planting of mangroves and seagrass, sequestering over 2.5 tonnes of metric carbon.

    Additionally, 50 people will be trained in sustainable bee keeping, with the aim of empowering them to generate revenue from the sale of honey and related goods, and 130kg of trash will be removed from Msimbazi River.

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Fisheries & Aquaculture

Featured Projects

  • yangtze_estuary

    Ecological Restoration in the Yangtze Estuary

    Shanghai, China

    The natural coastline of the Yangtze Estuary has been seriously degraded, which has caused great damage to the important fishery habitat and affected the function of the ecological barrier in the Yangtze Estuary. 

    In view of the aggravation of erosion of salt marshes in the Yangtze Estuary caused by global climate change and human activities, we plan to propose ecological restoration measures to maintain the habitat diversity of estuarine wetlands, so as to provide support for sustainable fishery output.

    Leader: Sikai Wang, 35


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  • 20191017_171837

    Hackathon For The Ocean

    Guayaquil, Ecuador

    SOA Ecuador is organizing a virtual hackathon for the oceans (#HackathonPorElOceano). This national contest seeks to bring university students together in search of the two best solutions to the ocean's two biggest problems: plastic pollution and unsustainable/IUU fishing. 

    Participants will receive mentoring by marine science experts and professionals along the way. Projects have the opportunity to be selected and certified by the esteemed design thinking firm, Design for Change.

    Leader: Janice Márquez de la Plata Molina, 27


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  • IMG_3969

    Peruvian Shark Conservation Campaign

    Lima, Peru

    SOA Hub Perú and Coalición Tiburón Perú is developing a shark conservation campaign due to large poorly managed fisheries that threaten the many shark species that inhabit Peruvian waters. 

    Few Peruvians are aware of the existence and vulnerable situation of these sharks. The campaign aims to inform, raise awareness, and promote empathy towards sharks. SOA Peru will conduct research and develop audiovisual materials to highlight the importance of shark conservation and share them through social media platforms, murals and printed materials.

    Leader: Ana Lucía Yapur Pancorvo, 23


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Seabed & Coral

  • Kiabu Reef Restoration A055

    Kiabu Reef Restoration

    Kiabu, Indonesia

    25 year old Dennis and his team work with managers of the Anambas Islands Marine Tourism Park, a new management area made up of five small islands, to develop their regional marine management plan.

    Their goal is to: 1. Re-establish fish habitat and help to restore fish populations by providing artificial reefs of 40 coral spiders; 2. Increase the percentage of coral cover by transplanting 500 corals at restoration sites, and 3. Become a model of community-based conservation activities on small islands in Anambas.

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  • Jeremy Raguain

    See Our Seas Docuseries

    Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

    Led by Ocean Leader Jeremy Raguain (27), and in partnership with YPAC and SOA’s Campaign Against Deep Seabed Mining, a documentary produced an awareness-raising documentary advocating for a moratorium on seabed mining. Jeremy interviewed experts in the Seychelles about what the deep sea is and why it’s essential to understand and conserve. This documentary has been featured in multiple online and in-person events.



  • Coral Lok

    Coral Lok Tech

    Florida, USA

    Shelby Thomas is the 25 year old founder of Ocean Rescue Alliance, and organization dedicated to developing modules upon which corals can be “outplanted” to restore coral reefs and serve as critical breakwaters to prevent coastal erosion and flooding. With SOA support, they’ve constructed and tested 3 different structure types outfitted with 250 coral receivers, and have deployed 1200 Coral Lok Bases, outplanting 6,000 coral.




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Education & Research

Featured Projects

  • Reproductive Ecology of Manta Rays

    Reproductive Ecology of Manta Rays

    Nusa Penida Island, Indonesia

    This project collects data on Manta Rays in The Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA), and couples this information with individual sightings data to understand their population demographics and dynamics.

    The information garnered from this study will provide data on manta ray life-history parameters and lend insights into whether sites repeatedly used by smaller individuals can be considered nurseries for this species, which is an understudied aspect of manta ray ecology. Information from this study will inform tourism management within the MPA.

    Check out their website.

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  • Spain river cleanup/plastic pollution analysis

    Microplastic Collection & Analysis

    Nerja and Almuñécar, Spain/ Cork, Ireland

    This project carries out clean up activities and monitoring of litter and microplastics in the Sanguino River and streams near a protected coastline located in Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs Natural Area (Nerja and Almuñécar, Spain). 

    Previous monitoring work by the organization associated with this grant (Hombre y Territorio) has identified heavily polluted sites due to intensive agriculture. 

    Primary activities include cleanup and litter characterization, analysis of water samples for microplastics by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), training citizen scientists to maintain fieldwork, and communicating project impact with local policymakers and stakeholders.

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  • Sawfish Project Indonesia

    Sawfish Project Indonesia

    Bogort, Indonesia

    Sawfish Project Indonesia is an interdisciplinary project that seeks to provide data about sawfish to local and national governments to implement legal protections for them. 



    The project will conduct scientific research using Environmental DNA (E-DNA) and fisheries surveys to investigate the problem of sawfish bycatch, which is one of the major factors leading to the decline of sawfish populations in Merauke, Indonesia. Sawfish Project Indonesia ultimately aims to enhance the capacity of indigenous people in Merauke to continue the important work of sawfish conservation locally. This project will perform an incubator workshop to teach the youth of Merauke about sawfish conservation.

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Waste Reduction & Circularity

Featured Projects

  • MyMizu

    My Mizu

    Tokyo, Japan

    Mymizu (“mizu” is water in Japanese) provides a free water refill platform that connects people to 200,000+ locations globally where they can refill their water bottle, instead of buying bottled water. 

    A large part of Mymizu's mission is education on the oceans & the plastic problem; they carry out workshops and awareness-raising activities at schools, universities & events (70+ times in the past 7 months to 5000+ people), as well as create digital content (e.g. infographics/videos) to engage people on social channels.

    With SOA funds, they have developed fun, educational materials for Mymizu volunteers and community members to carry out their own workshops across Japan, enabling them to reach significantly more people through localized and volunteer-led workshops (both online and/or in-person).

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  • Gambia Ocean Heroes clean-up

    Gambia Ocean Heroes

    The Gambia

    12 tonnes of trash along River Gambia (Barra to Kartong) were collected, as well as activities to sensitize community members (especially those who travel on the river ferry) about the effects of riverine and marine pollution through radio programs and surveys.

    Gambia Ocean Heroes is a service-learning project under the GREAT Institute created in 2018. Apart from clean up activities, the GOH supports local communities and organizations to take the lead in efforts towards promoting ocean health and reducing plastic pollution. Since 2018, GOH has collected 350 tonnes of trash along The Gambia’s coastline and is excited to expand this effort to rivers. 

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  • SOAGhanaHub

    Journalism to Combat Marine Debris

    Accra, Ghana

    The ocean plays a critical role as a climate regulator by absorbing about 30% of human emissions of carbon dioxide, but increasing levels of plastic waste threatens this key ecosystem function.

    This project seeks to leverage data and storytelling tools to spotlight the challenge of marine pollution and its dangers to society. The project also deploys a digital campaign involving use of short videos and infographics to educate residents across West Africa on the dangers of marine pollution, and improve practices of waste management.

    Read more about their project and read a recent article here.

    More articles on plastic waste and marine pollution,


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Microgrant Program Details

We are currently accepting applications by invitation only.

Grants are awarded to projects led by people under 35. These grants are accompanied by mentorship and skill development opportunities.

Download Microgrant information by region and language:

Africa (English)Brazil (Portuguese) | Indonesia | North America (English) | Pacific Islands (English) | Portuguese |  Spanish 

Microgrants FAQ


Project Requirements

  • Project Leaders must be 35 or younger
  • Clear activities & ocean impact
  • Sustainable / replicable project
  • Planned appropriate fund allocation
  • Proficiency in English
  • Affiliated with an SOA Hub or registered organization




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