Our Story

Oceanites (“ocean-eye-tees”) is a §501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that operates internationally with the central mission of assisting science-based conservation recommendations in Antarctica and increasing the awareness of climate change worldwide. Oceanites’ Federal Tax I.D. number is 52-1530218.

Oceanites’ values are grounded, in science, education, stewardship, and transparency. Ongoing scientific work is the springboard for Oceanites’ climate change outreach, which uses penguins as avatars to explain how we humans, like all biological creatures, may or may not adapt when the warming of the planet comes our way.

For more than two decades Oceanites has worked to protect the Antarctic environment, generating more than a quarter-century of penguin and seabird data collected in its Antarctic Site Inventory project, which are collated uniquely with all other Antarctic penguin data in its continent-wide, freely available database known as MAPPPD. These data underpin environmental protection and conservation measures for the 10% of our planet dedicated to peace and science under the 1961 Antarctic Treaty. Inimitably, over the past 27 years, Oceanites has made more than 2,100 site visits and collected data from more than 250 different Antarctic locations.

Oceanites’ work takes place on the “frontlines” of climate change in the Antarctic Peninsula, where it’s warmed faster than almost anywhere else — by an enormous 3˚C./ 5˚F. year-round and by 5˚C./ 9˚F. in winter — and where Adélie and Chinstrap penguin populations have dramatically plunged, while the Gentoo penguin population has soared.

Oceanites is the world’s only nonprofit, publicly supported Antarctic research program — monitoring the entirety of the vastly warmed Antarctic Peninsula region. Oceanites serves as an independent, non-governmental observer at meetings of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which oversees and regulates fishing activities in Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty system (54 countries) relies upon the data provided and collated by Oceanites, including Oceanites’ annual State of Antarctic Penguins reports (“SOAP”).

And of course, we work in the great Seventh Continent, Antarctica, whose many secrets help us better understand how our planet is changing.