Ray Dalio and Michael Bloomberg Commit $185 Million To Protect The Oceans

Billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Ray Dalio are joining forces to work on saving the world’s oceans. On Sunday, Bloomberg ‘s Bloomberg Philanthropies and OceanX –an initiative of the Dalio family, announced a $185 million pledge to work together on researching and conserving the oceans.

Bloomberg Philanthropies confirmed that it is committing $86 million over four years, and OceanX said it is pledging about $100 million over the same period. They aim to combat the impact of pollution, destructive fishing practices and climate change on the ocean, which makes up more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. Together, the organizations will support the exploration of threatened marine areas to advance scientific understanding, public awareness and education, advocacy and conservation. The partnership is based on the premise that there is a disconnect between humans and their relationship to the ocean, and that threats to the ocean are increasing. The partnership was announced on Sunday Oct. 28 at the 5th Annual “Our Ocean Conference” in Indonesia.

“More than three billion people depend on the oceans for food and their livelihoods,” Bloomberg said in a statement on Sunday. “That means threats to marine ecosystems – like climate change and overfishing – also threaten lives around the world. We’re teaming up with OceanX to ensure that ocean conservation receives the attention it deserves.”

Bloomberg, UN special envoy for climate action and a former New York City mayor, and Dalio, founder of hedge fund firm Bridgewater Associates, made the announcement at the conclusion of a recent joint project, an expedition to the U.S.’s first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The expedition made on OceanX’s vessel, the Alucia, explored parts of the underwater site that had never been visited by humans.

“By starting in our own backyard, we hope to inspire Americans and others around the world as they conserve their own national waters,” Bloomberg said in a video on Sunday announcing the partnership.

Bloomberg, who has an estimated net worth of $44.4 billion, according to Forbes Real Time rankings, and Dalio, worth an estimated $18.1 billion, are among the biggest givers focused on preserving ocean ecosystems. Since 2011, Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested $69 million in ocean protection efforts, some of which supported the 2014 launch of the charity’s Vibrant Oceans Initiative, which Bloomberg’s latest pledge will help support.

Vibrant Oceans has worked with partners to improve local and industrial fishing practices and protect marine areas in top fishing nations such as Brazil, Chile and the Philippines. In some key fishing areas, Vibrant Oceans says it has seen 390% growth in coastal fish populations and has supported the recovery of the Chilean Jackfish Mackerel. The initiative plans to use some of its new funding to apply data-driven strategies to managing fisheries, conserving coral and reducing pollution in 10 priority countries, including Australia, the Bahamas, Chile, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, the United States, and to engage private and public sector leaders globally in taking action.

Meanwhile, OceanX, which Dalio started with his son, Mark, a wildlife documentary filmmaker, is focused on using video and storytelling to bolster public awareness and care for the oceans and support scientific breakthroughs. In early 2019, OceanX plans to launch a science and media vessel called the Alucia2, which will feature dry- and wet- onboard marine labs, media equipment, helicopters and drones to support research and filmmaking.

“Everybody should see this and get excited about the ocean,” Dalio said in a video on Sunday. “And then if we do, we’re going to love the ocean a lot more and take better care of it.” 

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