Rapid Ocean Conservation Grant Program

Deadline: on a rolling basis
Open to: everyone
up to 20,000 US dollars


The Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grants Program provides small grants with a quick turnaround time for solutions to emerging conservation issues. Its primary focus is on the creation of new or expanded no-take marine protected areas or sanctuaries in developing states where the government is a full and early partner. Grants will be provided on those projects that are about:

  • Scientific Research – Includes natural science or social science projects. For example, collecting baseline data before coastal development or MPA establishment, or studying fishery effects of a natural (e.g. tsunami) or man-made (e.g. oil spill) disaster. As appropriate (e.g., if AUVs/ROVs are involved), project execution could be organized in collaboration with WI;
  • Policy –  Includes opportunistic projects around unique public policy windows, such as preparation of policy analysis and support of experts’ efforts to inform decision makers on upcoming government actions. For example, a cost-benefit analysis of proposed fishing regulations, or travel expenses for a delegation of scientists to educate elected officials;
  • Management – Includes enforcement and infrastructure support. For example, stop-gap funding to increase enforcement capacity in light of a sudden uptick in illegal dynamite fishing, or training personnel to enforce new regulations about to go into effect;
  • Communications – Includes raising public awareness and engaging stakeholders, including advertizing by a 501(c)3 group around a public policy moment. For example, a PR blitz (e.g. billboards or radio adds) to educate the public in advance of a vote on an ocean conservation measure, or training local people to become citizen scientists or enforcement tipsters.


The Rapid Ocean Conservation Grant Program is open for everyone. Project must support sustainable fishing and/or MPAs as elaborated in the program focus section. Applicants need not hold advanced degrees, but must demonstrate a commensurate level of experience and expertise with respect to the proposed project. Applicants must have and maintain legitimate affiliation with an academic institution or NGO for the duration of the grant project.


Proposals for grants up to $10,000 will be given on a rolling basis. Proposals up to $20,000 will be considered, but granted highly infrequently. Project funds will be distributed with in 2 weeks of funding decisions. The grant will be given to those projects who meets the Evaluation Criteria including:

  • Funding Urgency: how quickly the project needs to begin for maximum effectiveness;
  • Conservation Impact: magnitude of ecological, socioeconomic, and policy benefit;
  • Scale of Impact: geographic area and likeliness of applicability/replication elsewhere;
  • Feasibility of Implementation: based on socioeconomic and political context;
  • Organizational Capacity: adequacy of staff size and expertise to execute project.


Interested applicants need to sent their project proposal via ROC online platform. There you need to create an online account to proceed with your application and provide the necessary information about yourself and information about your project. Please note that if you want your project to be granted with funds from the ROC you need to have support from a acadenud institution or a NGO organisation. Also in the application process you will be asked you will be asked to provide proof and documentation of charitable status (examples: articles of incorporation, charter, certificate of registered charity).  Applications without proof of charitable status will not be considered.  During the review process, you may be asked to provide additional information such as bylaws of the organization and/or financial statements.

The official call