Sailors for the Sea and its founder, David Rockefeller Jr., were presented with the America and the Sea Award in October. From left, Barclay Collins II of Mystic Seaport, Rockefeller, Mark Davis of Sailors for the Sea and Stephen C. White of Mystic Seaport. PHOTO COURTESY OF MYSTIC SEAPORT

Sailors’ environmental group announces merger

NEWPORT, R.I. — Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization co-founded by Mount Desert summer resident David Rockefeller Jr., has announced a plan to join forces with international conservation organization Oceana.

“Our board, staff and all of us are so pleased to be joining Oceana’s team,” Rockefeller said. “This will strengthen our ability to help sailors and power boaters make a difference in saving the oceans they depend on.”

Oceana will continue the legacy of Sailors for the Sea through engaging the nearly 12 million strong recreational boating community on ocean conservation and will seek to unite a core constituency of sailors and boaters whose support will help win victories in protecting the world’s oceans.

“Sailors and recreational boaters are highly credible ocean leaders,” said Oceana CEO Andrew F. Sharpless. “Sailors for the Sea will now help us reach them in ways that will prove truly beneficial for Oceana’s conservation campaigns.”

The two entities’ boards of directors, following an effort initiated by Oceana, unanimously approved the plan to combine. Sailors for the Sea plans to file a petition with the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Supreme Judicial Court for approval of the combination under Massachusetts law. In the meantime, Rockefeller has joined Oceana’s board of directors, and Sailors for the Sea board members have been invited to join Oceana’s ocean council.

Oceana plans to maintain the office of Sailors for the Sea in Newport, R.I., where staff will continue running the core Sailors for the Sea programs, including Clean Regattas, KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) and the Green Boating Guide.

Rockefeller, chairman of Rockefeller & Co. Inc., is an active participant in the nonprofit arena, especially in the areas of environment, the arts, public education and philanthropy. He founded Sailors for the Sea in 2004 in partnership with David Treadway. A former member of the Pew Oceans Commission, he has raced and cruised ocean waters for over 40 years, from Labrador to Miami, San Diego to Alaska, Scotland and Sweden to Turkey, and Italy. He is a member of the Northeast Harbor Fleet and helped found the Great Harbor Dream youth sailing initiative.

Sailors for the Sea affiliates in Japan and Portugal also will continue their existing efforts as well as their association with the Sailors for the Sea brand while beginning efforts to support Oceana’s global campaigns.

For more about Sailors for the Sea and Oceana, visit and


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.