a unique nonprofit: a creative agency, working for the biggest client of them all…
The most successful companies in the world all rely on agencies to get the fresh insights and creative ideas needed to build their brands and interest in their products. So we thought; why not the ocean? After all, the ocean is the source of life on Earth, and it influences every aspect of our lives from our health to our wealth – we rely on it far more than any business. That's why we created The Ocean Agency. Put simply; we create demand and support for ocean science and conservation – identifying the most urgent issues and then developing the creative ideas, communications, and collaborations needed to help solve them.
We've found that there is a formula for maximizing support for ocean action. It takes more than just raising awareness of issues - there must be be excitement and optimism created around the solutions. Since there are plenty of organizations raising awareness and outrage, we've learnt to focus on the rest of the equation. Now, more than ever, we believe optimism and excitement is what’s needed to fast-track action.
After inventing the revolutionary SVII camera, we kicked off our surveying of the Great Barrier Reef — the most comprehensive scientific survey of the reef in history. We had two teams working on five separate expeditions: a shallow reef team and a deep reef team, going places no one had ever gone before.
Following the success of our Australian expeditions, we took the project global, heading off to the Caribbean. Side trips to the Galapagos, Monaco and numerous other locations made this an amazingly successful year.
We teamed up with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 2014 to do our first major survey in the US. This was in addition to our survey of locations in the Coral Triangle. We also partnered with UNESCO, held our first exhibition, surveyed Sydney, re-visited the Great Barrier Reef after Cyclone Ita and got involved in several documentaries.
Although we witnessed and revealed the Third Global Bleaching Event in 2014, it began to gain momentum in 2015. We re-visited American Samoa twice to record a reef bleaching and dying for the first time using 360-degree photography. We had expeditions in the Indian Ocean and a major exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London.
The Third Global Bleaching Event continued throughout the year, and we were the only team tracking it as it devastated reefs around the world. It was the year we finished filming Chasing Coral, started our Seaview Education program with Google, and changed our focus from documenting the problem to creating a solution: a global plan to save corals.
The year started with the team on the silver screen. Chasing Coral made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award. Soon after, we launched our next big initiative, 50 Reefs — the only global plan to save coral reefs. Meanwhile, we continued to track the Third Global Bleaching Event.
Still on the screen with Chasing Coral — which, in 2018, won an Emmy, a Peabody, and was shortlisted for an Oscar — we kicked off International Year of the Reef in January, and it quickly became our biggest year yet. The 50 Reefs initiative resulted in $86 million in funding toward conservation action.
In 2019, we wanted to create even bigger excitement and optimism around coral reef conservation. We launched our Glowing campaign with Pantone and Adobe to reach a new audience of creatives, then partnered with World Surf League to capture the global surfing community.
We pivoted away from expeditions and conferences and focused on unlocking the power of creativity to accelerate action – developing new partnerships and a plan for the UN Ocean Decade to help transform the image of ocean science and conservation.
We believe in keeping our team small so we can be more creative and react more easily to opportunities. A small, highly motivated team is the secret to achieving big results.
Founder & CEO
Richard Vevers is the Founder and CEO of The Ocean Agency. He is a fellow of The Explorers Club and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Rhode Island. He is best known for his leading role in the Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Coral on Netflix and his work has been featured in numerous publications and documentaries.
Before diving into ocean and coral reef conservation, Vevers first worked at some of the top London advertising agencies and then as an artist and underwater photographer. It is this background that has guided his unique creative and business-thinking approach to ocean conservation. His major successes include: 1) inventing the camera that took Google Street View underwater, 2) pioneering virtual reality ocean education, currently available to over 90 million kids, 3) leading the most comprehensive underwater photographic survey of the world’s coral reefs with over 1 million images captured and analyzed (XL Catlin Seaview Survey), 4) revealing the crisis facing coral reefs due to climate change in the Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral, 5) Developing a science-based global plan for targeting coral reef conservation efforts called 50 Reefs.
PASSIONATE PEOPLE ACCELERATING OCEAN SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION ACTION
Strategy & Partnerships
Strategy & Partnerships
Chief Expedition Photographer
Senior Program Manager
Marine Biologist & Filmmaker
Illustrator & Designer
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