Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Census of Marine Life

The goal of this program is to advance a major international observational program to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life.

Beginning in 2000, Foundation grants now total about $78 million. Together with more than $550 million from non-Sloan sources around the world, including national governments, international organizations, and maritime industries, Foundation funds have helped fund 14 field projects, build the History of Marine Animal Populations to benchmark current populations, create a network to predict the future of marine animal populations, develop the Ocean Biogeographical Information System (now containing over 22 million records of more than 112,000 marine species), and support the International Scientific Steering Committee and Secretariat, the U.S. National Committee, and an Education and Outreach Network to lift the project’s visibility and engage other nations and organizations and to develop the capacity for further discovery and application of accumulated knowledge once the Census is completed. Thousands of scientists from more than 80 nations are participating. 

Foundation support will culminate with the release of the first ever Census of Marine Life in October, 2010.