Our Mission

SDOF leads community supported programs through collaboration to promote ocean sustainability.

About SDOF

Since 1984, SDOF has built a legacy of providing hands-on, meaningful volunteer programs that protect ecosystems, increase the understanding of marine life and provide solutions to environmental challenges. Whether it’s educating youth about marine science, restoring fish populations, tagging and monitoring lobster or educating people to become ‘citizen scientists’, each volunteer gains a deeper appreciation for our oceans.


SDOF is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 by Presidential proclamation and a joint congressional resolution to encourage the wise use and management of the ocean, to heighten public awareness of ocean matters, and to promote effective communications among the leaders of San Diego ocean-dependent organizations.

SDOF grew out of an ad hoc group formed in 1984 in response to President Reagan designating San Diego as a “point” city in the Year of the Ocean. Rather than disband, the committee created the San Diego Oceans Foundation and began its 30 year history of ocean stewardship. Most of the Foundation’s past activities focused on water quality issues and educating the public regarding various ocean topics. Several years later, the Foundation began involving many more volunteers with “hands on” projects and developing proactive approaches for dealing with conservation and environmental issues. It now has an active membership program and has been rather successful in generating media attention with over a dozen television appearances, numerous newspaper articles, and an active online presence. In a brief time, the Foundation became recognized as a sort of “chamber of commerce of the sea” to educate San Diegans about the importance of the ocean to the region’s economy and its role in the well-being of every individual.

SDOF’s mission is to promote ocean stewardship by leading community-supported projects. In the last two decades, we have put volunteers in the field, on the docks, in the ocean, and on our beaches to help promote ocean stewardship. Through our volunteer efforts, we have devoted thousands of hours to five major areas that have meaningful impact on the quality of our oceans: underwater research, fisheries enhancement, pollution prevention, marine science education, and boat mooring safety.

SDOF As A Neutral Arbitrator

The San Diego Oceans Foundation prides itself in traits we DO NOT possess: We do not use litigation as a scare tactic. We do not endorse political candidate to gain media exposure. We do not point fingers at gross polluters. Instead, we work as a neutral arbitrator to find solutions to marine-related problems!