Foundation Awards $500,000 to Ocean Conservancy

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced Sept. 20 a $500,000 grant to Ocean Conservancy to support the continued growth of its signature volunteer event, the International Coastal Cleanup, and to fund a new Ocean Climate Program to mitigate the impact of climate change on the ocean.

The grant is part of Bank of America's $20 billion, 10-year environmental initiative to reduce climate change through lending, investing, the creation of new products and services, operations and philanthropy.

"Working hand-in-hand with Ocean Conservancy to build healthy communities by restoring the vitality of oceans and waterway, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is proud to be a leading sponsor of the International Coastal Cleanup," said Kerry Sullivan, National Philanthropy executive at Bank of America. "This unique event provides a direct and tangible way to fight for thriving oceans and address climate change for our associates, who volunteer in cleanups around the country through Team Bank of America."

Over the past 20 years, the International Coastal Cleanup -- the world's largest volunteer event of its kind -- has gathered 6 million volunteers to remove more than 100 million pounds of marine litter from 170,000 miles of beaches and inland waterways. The majority of trash is the result of human impact through recreational and shore-line activities. Therefore, the International Coastal Cleanup also encourages changes in the behavior that causes this debris.

"A healthy ocean is essential for a healthy planet. But the health of the ocean has declined in recent years, as the harmful impacts of litter, over-fishing, pollution, coastal development, and more have left it weak. Climate change also plays a significant role in this damage," said Vikki Spruill, president and chief executive officer of Ocean Conservancy. "This important grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will enable us to address the impacts of climate change and work to restore the strength and resiliency of the ocean."

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