Ocean Foundation Awarded CMG Action Grant

CMG is awarding The Ocean Foundation a CMG Action Grant to produce media for their SeaGrass Grow campaign. This $7,800 matching grant will fund the production and distribution of two, 30-second videos which will engage viewers to donate to the SeaGrass Grow project. 

Jarrod Curry, Marketing and Operations Manager at The Ocean Foundation, attended our Ocean Catalyst Workshops in 2015, where he worked with two other attendees, Kristin Tieche (filmmaker) and Michele Heller (strategist). Together they developed concept videos for the SeaGrass Grow campaign. The CMG Action Grant will allow Jarrod to continue working on the project they conceptualized, and, as part of the grant, Jarrod is hiring Kristin Tieche as the project's filmmaker. Michele will also contribute to the team project: she has since been hired onto The Ocean Foundation's Program's Support team!

"What we love about the SeaGrass Grow project," says CMG's Amy Files, "is its multi-faceted impact. It combats climate change from both a secondary (individuals offsetting their carbon use) as well as hands-on approach (actually planting seagrass). The planting of seagrass not only improves ocean health but also benefits coastal communities whose economies rely on a healthy ocean habitat."

The SeaGrass Grow project is a carbon offset program. Similarly to offsetting your carbon by funding planting for trees, SeaGrass Grow allows users to fund new seagrass planting to offset their annual carbon footprint, a flight, or whatever impact they choose. A single acre of seagrass may support as many as 40,000 fish, and 50 million small invertebrates. Seagrass habitats are up to 45 times more effective than the most pristine Amazonian rainforest in their carbon uptake abilities.

According to Jarrod, "While [other carbon offset programs] might fall in line behind us later, this is the first initiative of its kind. We hope to make a name for ourselves as the first verified blue carbon offset providers, as well as the go-to organization for information relating to blue carbon and seagrass."

The video campaign, funded by CMG's Action Grant, will be used to educate individuals about the seagrass carbon offset program and allow them to contribute. The Ocean Foundation will measure the video's impact through their online calculators and to actual dollars raised. They have established a goal of raising at least $25,000 for a planting/earned media event in the spring of 2016. The project and event would gain media attention because of the partners involved and the novel concept of coastal restoration as a carbon offset. 

CMG's Action Grants provide up to $10,000 to organizations & individuals to catalyze a project or campaign that uses video to create measurable action in ocean conservation or sustainable energy. We have awarded multiple Action Grants in 2015 through our Catalyst Workshops Capstone continuation fund and through partnerships with additional video engagement organizations, such as the Points North Engagement Summit at the Camden International Film Festival, and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. 

Read more about The Ocean Foundation's SeaGrass Grow Action Grant HERE.