Ocean Wise Conservation Association

PO Box 3232
Vancouver, BC V6B 3X8
President & CEO: Lasse Gustavsson
Board Chair: Randy Pratt

Charitable Reg. #:11928 2119 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements available only upon request.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 27 cents are available for programs.

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About Ocean Wise Conservation Association:

Founded in 1956, Ocean Wise Conservation Association (Ocean Wise) is an environmental charity that works to “inspire the global community to become Ocean Wise by increasing its understanding, wonder, and appreciation for our oceans.” Ocean Wise runs animal care, conservation, engagement, education, and research programs. It also operates the Vancouver Aquarium which is home to thousands of ocean species and types of aquatic life.

Ocean Wise Conservation Association’s Marine Mammal Rescue program is a hospital and care facility for sick, injured, or orphaned marine mammals. Each year, Ocean Wise says that it saves over 100 marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into the wild. In F2018, the charity reports that it released 2,600 endangered frogs (tadpoles and froglets) to the wild and reared 17 fish and invertebrate species.

Conservation programs include The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and Ocean Wise Seafood. The Shoreline Cleanup is a national conservation initiative that gives people the opportunity to take environmental action in their communities. In F2018, Ocean Wise reports that 116,429 kilograms of litter, including 560,432 cigarettes, was removed from Canadian shorelines. Ocean Wise Seafood is a sustainable seafood program that aims to tackle the problem of overfishing. The charity reports that over 3,000 locations across Canada are now selling Ocean Wise recommended seafood.

Ocean Wise’s Engagement and Education programs aim to create a real sense of awareness, across all ages, of the conservation issues our world is facing. The charity reached 168 million people online and had 296,390 education program participants in F2018. It also reports that it got over 14,000 pledges to #BePlasticWise and that 8,000 reports were submitted to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network.

Ocean Wise researchers study habitats and animals both in the wild and on site, in order to advance knowledge necessary to improve environmental conservation. Ocean Wise says that it is now home to more than 30 researchers who published 16 research papers in F2018.

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Results and Impact

Ocean Wise Conservation Association reports that in F2018, 80% of waste was diverted from the landfills it ran programs in. It also rescued and rehabilitated 173 marine mammals in F2018. The charity reports a 15% reduction in electricity use, and a 20% reduction in natural gas use over the 2009 baseline.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Ocean Wise Conservation Association’s results and impact.

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Ocean Wise Conservation Association is a ­­­­large charity, with total donations of $8.1m in F2018. Administrative costs are 17% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 57% of donations. For every dollar donated, 27 cents go to the cause. This is outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves of $17.8m can cover almost 10 months of annual program costs.

­­This charity report is a new charity report that has been sent to Ocean Wise Conservation Association for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 15, 2019 by Lauren Chin.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 16.8%20.2%15.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 56.5%52.0%48.9%
Total overhead spending 73.3%72.1%64.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 80.5%71.8%87.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,0539,6408,917
Fees for service 21,79820,62221,043
Business activities (net) 3,7313,4184,031
Investment income 4,7574,5543,821
Total revenues 38,33938,23437,812
Program costs 22,08722,05620,389
Administrative costs 5,6486,7855,337
Fundraising costs 4,5515,0114,361
Total spending 32,28633,85230,087
Cash flow from operations 6,0534,3827,725
Capital spending 2,9662,281515
Funding reserves 17,78215,84217,864

Note: Ci reported business activities net of expenses, affecting revenues and expenses by ($8k) in F2018, ($7k) in F2017, and ($8k) in F2016.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 333

Avg. Compensation: $50,067

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

Website: www.ocean.org
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