The New England Aquarium is seeking visionary, collaborative leaders for its Marine Conservation Action Fund, a program that supports worldwide ocean conservation initiatives and protection of species as diverse as hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, sharks, manta rays and river dolphins. For the first time, the program is offering an open call for applicants.
The Marine Conservation Action Fund (MCAF) is a microgranting and fellowship program within the Aquarium that addresses critical needs in the marine conservation field. MCAF Fellows are leaders pursuing a community-based, multi-disciplinary approach to achieve lasting conservation outcomes who have demonstrated a commitment to training and mentoring the next generation of ocean leaders.
MCAF provides financial, technical, and professional resources as well as mentorship and community-building to support the success of Fellows. Eligible applicants are nationals of low- and middle-income countries. Fellows receive a $10,000 award for their ocean conservation project when inducted into the program. After the successful completion of their initial project and of their first year in the program, Fellows are eligible to apply for additional project grants to support their new or ongoing conservation initiatives or for grants to promote the health and sustainability of their organizations. The application deadline is May 10, 2022.
“We are looking forward to welcoming four new conservation leaders into the MCAF Fellows Program who will bring new energy, ideas, experience, and expertise into the current community of 12 visionary and accomplished MCAF Fellows,” said Elizabeth Stephenson, Director of MCAF.
Since it was founded in 1999, MCAF has supported more than 190 projects in more than 60 countries across six continents. The program has supported conservation leaders gathering key data on imperiled marine species and engaging communities in local conservation projects. Through these efforts, conservation leaders are creating solutions that benefit ocean health and support food security and livelihoods for local communities. Through the MCAF Fellows Program, launched in 2015, the New England Aquarium has developed long-term partnerships with proven conservation leaders to help them catalyze lasting conservation outcomes. Program administrators recognize that achieving major conservation outcomes can take a decade or more and often requires overcoming many challenges along the way. Therefore, support is multifaceted throughout the life of fellows’ careers in conservation, rather than just for a short period.
“Supporting conservation heroes all over the world, not just in our backyard, is a crucial part of the New England Aquarium’s mission. If we are to protect the health of the ocean for generations to come, these MCAF Fellows provide an important link to achieving community-based solutions,” said Vikki N. Spruill, president and CEO of the Aquarium.
Those interested in learning more about the fellowship program and application process can visit this webpage.
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