The Marine Conservation Action Fund (MCAF) is a unique program that supports the Aquarium’s commitment to ocean conservation by funding small-scale, high-impact projects across the globe. Since its founding in 1999, MCAF has funded over 100 conservation projects in 36 countries and has disbursed more than $600,000 to protect highly vulnerable species and habitats and to conserve marine biodiversity.

MCAF addresses critical needs in the marine conservation field, including funding for urgent projects and support for small-scale, start-up projects in need of seed money. By supplying much-needed funding at crucial moments, MCAF has helped researchers learn more about threatened and endangered animals; helped grassroots groups engage communities in local conservation projects; and supported efforts to protect marine species and habitats.

MCAF is made possible by the generosity of the Oak Foundation, the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation and individual donors. MCAF’s advisory board is made up of Aquarium scientists and internationally known experts who donate their time to review proposals and guide MCAF’s funding decisions.


Download the Latest MCAF Newsletter

Get the latest about MCAF, including new projects to tag giant mantas off of Mexico and collect tiny hydroids from the Sargasso Sea. PDF .5 MB


Some Projects Supported by MCAF


Technology to Help Save the Oceans

MCAF supports engineer Shah Selbe as he works to protect the oceans with innovative tecnology. Read more.




Tackling a growing threat to manta rays in Sri Lanka

MCAF funds a study by the Manta Trust of the impact of the growing demand for manta ray gill rakers, which was cited during conservation efforts at CITES in 2013. Read more.




Measuring a reef’s resilience to climate change

MCAF funds a study of coral reefs by the Nature Conservation Foundation in India. Read more.





Studying the impact of significant flooding on Indus River dolphins

MCAF funds a study by a researcher from the Pakistan Wetlands Program of how these rare dolphins were affected by flooding. Read more.





Protecting the sea turtles of Costa Rica

MCAF funds a program by Sea Turtles Forever aimed at protecting endangered green sea turtles and their nest from poachers. Read more.





Watching over whale sharks after the Gulf oil spill

MCAF funds a study by ECOCEAN of the effects of the Gulf oil spill on vulnerable whale sharks. Read more.




Learn about projects MCAF supported in 2013 here.


Elizabeth Stephenson
Marine Conservation Action Fund Coordinator
Global Marine Programs
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, MA 02110