Everyone is Heartwired to Love the Ocean: New Messaging Guide

What if we could deepen support for ocean conservation by changing the way we talk to each other and how we engage with an increasingly diverse and inclusive conservation field?

We can with “Heartwired to Love the Ocean,” a new messaging guide for advocates.

The guide is a culmination of a three-year research project supported by the Foundation and conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and Wonder: Strategies for Good. The main finding: no matter their background, people are “Heartwired” to love the ocean.

The ocean conservation movement can do more, particularly in partnership with communities that have been historically underrepresented in marine conservation. People of color, young people, community and faith-based leaders are some of the many groups that have an important role to play in stewarding the ocean.

The guide aims to provide advocates and funders alike actionable advice on how to reach new audiences on topics from offshore drilling and overfishing to coastal access and plastic pollution.

A Values-Forward Approach

Too often, communications about ocean conservation can be bogged down with complicated scientific processes and policy prescriptions. Heartwired aims to bring us back to the messages that will persuade and inspire—by reflecting peoples’ values, their beliefs, their lived experiences, and their identities.

We believe the strategies outlined in the guide will help advocates foster and support an inclusive conservation field—using this more values-forward approach.

The quantitative and qualitative research found six mindsets were key to understanding how to effectively message ocean conservation to potential advocates.

Time to Rejuvenate the Ocean Conservation Movement

Since our first marine-related grant in 1968, the Foundation has supported work to better understand and protect the ocean. We hope this research and report can be another great chapter in our story of finding better ways to communicate the needs of our ocean and all who depend on it.

This is the moment to create avenues for greater action directly connected with people’s core values—to build a more inclusive movement.