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Conservation for the Oceans Foundation

In 2006, the Conservation for the Oceans Foundation (CFTO) was created to support grassroots-level conservation, education and research projects that bring about positive changes to ecosystems worldwide through local, multi-stakeholder, actions. The Foundation focuses on conservation of water quality, biodiversity, climate change, coral ecology and sustainability for ecosystems and human lifestyles.

Leonard Sonnenschein and Jean-Michel Cousteau

Leonard Sonnenschein and Jean-Michel Cousteau


The World Aquarium’s Conservation for the Oceans Foundation’s (CFTO) Advisory Board Member, John Englander, has written the book, High Tide On Main Street, which was just released October 30, 2012. The book discusses the current phenomenon sea level rise worldwide and how it will affect communities everywhere. A portion of the proceeds for each book will go to support the World Aquarium and CFTO.

Click here to see the informational flyer. To reserve an AUTOGRAPHED, INSCRIBED COPY of the book, please send an e-mail to


Below is a listing of a small portion of CFTO’s activities. For the full historical listing, click here.


February 3-5, 2014: United Nations General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals – Session 8 – Oceans and Seas meeting in New York City, NY.

OWG 8 participation OWG 8 participation2










April 12-13, 2014: Sonnenschein, L.A.: Presentation of poster, “Changing the basis of healthcare by improving active ingredient delivery and nutritional supplements through new understanding of cellular mechanisms.” Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Yale Conference Yale Conference2










April 20-25, 2014: Attended the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth held at The Hague in the Netherlands. The Conservation for the Oceans Foundation made recommendations for sustainable ocean actions to protect food security and the world’s fisheries.

Participating at The Hague









March 4-6, 2014: Attended the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen, Norway to promote sustainable aquaculture methodology.

Bergen Norway Meeting 1

Bergen Norway Meeting 2









August 2014:  CFTO created the Ocean NAMA Network to create Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions for Oceans, to promote restoring ocean ecosystems in order to provide additional benefits in particular by providing food security, alleviating poverty through job creation, improving distribution of economies, and lowering the cost of protein.

Ocean NAMA Network Logo Alone











December 1-12, 2014: United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru

  • Side Event: “Ocean and Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change: Measurement, Mitigation and Educating Stakeholders”
  • Exhibit Booth: “Climate change affects physical & biological properties significantly within ocean & coastal areas and present information about understanding, financing, protecting & restoring these natural areas integrating  transparent communication, mitigation, & measurement practices.”




August 17-23, 2013: Presented “Funding Mechanism for Local Climate Change Adaptation” at the 1st African Food Security Conference: Harnessing Ecosystem based Approaches for Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change in Nairobi, Kenya.

Africa food security Conference Africa food security Conference2









October 28-31, 2013: Presentation of “Biodiversity Hotspots of the Himalayan Region and Climate Change” at the International Conference on Climate Change and the Himalayas: Current Status and Future Perspective in New Delhi, India.

India Climate ConferenceIndia Climate Conference2












March 11-14, 2012: The 27th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management in Philadelphia, PA U.S.A.

-Presentation of “Waste Rag Pickers: Local Management of Waste, Plastics for Income Generation and Recycling – a step towards better environment practices in cities of Delhi and Bhopal.”

-Poster presentation of “The Role of Schools, Education in Low Carbon Lifestyles and Minimization of Wasteful Practices” by Leonard Sonnenschein and Prabhjot Sodhi [World Aquarium & Centre for Environment Education-India]

Waste conferenceWaste study in India










March 19-20, 2012: United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Education Working Group Informal RIO+20 Issues Brief on Innovation. Produced by the Rio+20 Issues Cluster on Innovation. Attendance at “Innovation for Sustainable Development”












September 6-8, 2012: Lectured on “Improvements of Active Ingredient Delivery” at the 4th International Conference on Medicinal Plants and Herbal Products held at the John Hopkins University Campus, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Presenting at Johns Hopkins













May 26, 2011:  CFTO met with the Earth Day Foundation to discuss mutual conservation strategies

Earth Day Foundation meeting










July 17-31, 2011: Travel to India for Youth Voices in Conservation-GreenLeaf Program Field Studies.

Farming practices in India

Kerala Fish Research










August 21, 2011:  World Affairs Council

  1.  World Affairs Council Worldwide Youth Leaders Conference in St. Louis, MO
  2. hosted delegations from the Ukraine and Russia at the World Aquarium
  3. Other delegations were hosted throughout 2011-2012, some of which represented Azerbaijan, China, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, France, Poland, Brazil, Argentine, Uruguay, Yemen, Turkey and South Africa.
  4. Separate presentation of, “State of the Oceans: waves of change”


May-August 2010: In Russia, a meeting was convened at Astrakhan University entitled, “Survey on how the recommendation of Leadership seminar on the Caspian Sea and its Deltas Region Sustainable Development and Regional Security” held in 27-30 May, Astrakhan, Russian Federation, which was implemented 27 – 28 August 2010.”

Astrakhan meeting 1  Astrakhan meeting 3










  • “WHO-UNESCO Climate Change Workshop” September 2009, Lucknow, India.
  • “Catastrophe Now: Tipping Points and Transformations” Education Caucus side event at the United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change, December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.


  • Sonnenschein, L.A. and Weiyong, H., editors: Conservation Actions and Awareness in Public Institutions. Conservation for the Oceans Publication, October, 2008, 68pp.


  • International Ocean Institute 32nd Pacem in Maribus Conference: Women, Youth and the Sea in Malta.
  • Work Towards Identifying, Establishing and Optimizing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the United Kingdom.
  • Protection of Biodiversity in the Conditions of Development of Oil Industries in the Caspian Sea Region.
  • Argentina: Ocean Education and Conservation Program in the Mar Del Plata Municipal Aquarium.
  • Communication and Public Awareness Raising about Sustainable Seafood and other Food-Related Environmental Initiatives by the Vancouver Aquarium.
  • Community-based Fisheries Management in Bay of Bengal, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Cultivation of seaweed and grow-out of bivalves for increasing coral reef conservation in Bali, Indonesia.
  • Identification of Fish Aggregation and Spawning Site(s) for establishment of a Micronesian Marine Protected Area (MPA) and Educational Programming.
  • Durable management of the resources of the ocean in Mauritania.
  • Sustainable Mariculture and Safe Environmental Capacity on the Jordanian Coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.
  • Strengthening Communications: Linking Marine Science and the General Public in the Pacific Islands
  • Co-Chair, Biodiversity/Food Security Session, PIM-32 World Conference.
  • World Ocean Network: A Voice for Public Understanding of the Seafood Industry” World Aquaculture Society Conference-Science for Sustainable Aquaculture.
  • “Institutions Creating Pathways Toward Understanding Sustainability” Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation, January 2007.


  • God’s Spirit Over the Water: A Call to Action to the Communities of Faith, United Nations Environment Programme 2nd Intergovernmental Review of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA), 16-20 October, 2006, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
  • “Communicating Conservation Actions” Director’s Mini-forum. 2nd International Oceanography Conference of The Beijing Aquarium, October 24-26, 2006, Beijing China.
  • “First Global Report of the Sustainable Seafood Campaign,” Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France, January 2006.
  • Europe and Caspian Sea Regional Coordinated Meeting, Boulogne sur Mer, France, January 2006.
  • Consumer Awareness Towards Sustainable Oceans” Symposium, American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting 2006.
  • Coral Reef Benefits to Humans, Biodiversity, and Conservation: Movie, 2006.


  • Sustainable Seafood Campaign Animated Cartoon. 2005.
  • Caring for the Blue Planet, World Ocean Network: Europe and Caspian Sea Regional Coordinated Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal, April 2005.
  • World Ocean Network: Southeast Asia Regional Coordinated Meeting as part of the World Aquaculture Society Conference, Bali, Indonesia, May 2005.
  • “Sustainable Seafood Campaign,” World Ocean Network: Asia Regional Coordinated Meeting as part of the 3rd International Fishers Forum, Yokohama, Japan, July 2005.
  • World Aquarium and World Ocean Network-Concrete Field Actions Committee Commitments to Environmental Sustainable Development,” Education for Ocean Conservation Workshop, South Asia Regional Coordinated Meeting, Ahmedabad, India, January 2005.
  • World Aquarium Scientists Speed Coral Growth, 2005.
  • Effective Organic Amelioration of Nitrate and Other Chemicals of the Dead Zone,” Mississippi River Basin Nutrients Science Workshop, October 2005.
  • “Public Awareness as Part of the Law of the Sea,” United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, June 2005.


  • May 2004:  Aquatic Natural History of the Mississippi River Symposium and PowWow, St. Louis, MO.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A.: “Kids and Water Program at the World Aquarium” Conservation Forum, October 2004.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A.: “Public Aquariums as Arbiters for the Environment,” 6th International Aquarium Congress, December 2004
  • “Innovations in Aquaculture: Aquaculture Applications and Food Security,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Headquarters Library, Silver Spring, MD, 2004.
  • Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island: Movie for Shark Conservation, 2004.


  • November 2003:  The Amazon and Sustainability: Environmental Dream or Security Nightmare? Conference, St. Louis, MO.
  • Innovations in Aquaculture, Organic Aquaculture Workshop, 2003.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A., Wilson, D.A. and Criss, R.E, Eds.: Our Water, Our Rivers, St. Louis as a 21st Century River City,” 2001, 40pp. Published as a 278pp proceedings in 2003.
  • 2003 Environmental Coordination Trip – Middle Mississippi River, River Resource Action Team, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, June 2003.
  • Hayes, B.L., Longmore, W.J., Sklavounos, S., and Sonnenschein, L.A.: The Effects of a Magnetic Field on Various Species of Freshwater Fish.       America Aquaculture 2003 Conference, 2003.
  • Lopata, M. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: The Effects of Sulfur Treatment on Nitrite Levels in Closed Saltwater Ecosystems. Aquatic Animal Life Support Operators Symposium, 2003.
  • Lopata, M. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: A Comparison of the Economic and Environmental Impact of Various Fisheries and Aquaculture Industries to Predict Impact on U.S. Communities of Low-Food Chain Species Prioritization. Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ISEES)-Organic Aquaculture Workshop, 2003.
  • Brownstein, C. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: Creating Positive Environmental Impact through Public Understanding. Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ISEES)-Organic Aquaculture Workshop, 2003.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A.: Innovations in Aquaculture. Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ISEES)-Organic Aquaculture Workshop, 2003.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A. and Lopata, M.: “Environmental Preservation – Public Understanding: Applying models to solving real problems. OCEANS 2003, Centenary Conference for Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 2003.
  • Vallette, Philippe and Sonnenschein, Leonard: Generating and Maintaining Public Support for Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands 2003, November 2003.


  • Sustainable Actions Committee (formerly known as Concrete Conservation Field Actions Committee) for the UNESCO and UNEP sponsored – World Ocean Network.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A.: “Hydrologic and Conservation Issues in Brazil,” International Water Conference, 2002.


  • Aquatic Conservation. American Zoo and Aquarium Association Conference, 2001.
  • Our Water, Our Rivers, St. Louis as a 21st Century River City,” 2001.
  • Chao, N.L., Petry, P., Prang, G., Sonnenschein, L.A., and Tlusty, M., Eds.: Conservation and Management of Ornamental Fish Resources of the Rio Negro Basin, Amazonia, Brazil – Project Piaba, 2001, 301pp.


  • White House Office of Science & Technology for “Excellence in Science, Technology & Mathematics Week” 2000-2004 & “Global Science & Technology Week”.
  • Public Aquariums: Educational and Research Responsibility in the Future – 5th International Aquarium Congress, Monaco, 2000.
  • Cressman, K.A., Hodel, E.C., Sonnenschein, L.A. and Longmore, W.J.: Coral Biology and Culture. Marine Ornamentals Conference, presentation parts a and b, 1999.
  • Cressman, K.A., Sonnenschein, L.A. and Longmore, W.J.:       A Study of Coral Nutrition in a Closed Environment. Aquaculture America 2000 Conference, 2000.
  • Hodel, E.C., Sonnenschein, L.A. and Longmore, W.J.: Effects of Organic and Inorganic Levels in Miniature Coral Reef Systems. Aquaculture America 2000 Conference, 2000.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A.: Public Aquariums: Educational and Research Responsibility in the Future. Fifth International Aquarium Congress, 2000.
  • Longmore, W.J. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: Intern Opportunities within Modern Public           Aquarium. Fifth International Aquarium Congress, 2000.
  • Klamen, M. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: Environmental and Legal Aspect of New Agricultural and Aquaculture Products. World Aquaculture Society AQUA2000 Conference – responsible aquaculture in the new millennium, 2000.
  • Leong, L. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: Working Toward Standardized Evaluation Techniques. World Aquaculture Society AQUA2000 Conference – responsible aquaculture in the new millennium, 2000.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A., Klamen, M. and Leong, L.: A New Application of a Natural Product to Significant Increase Aquaculture Production. World Aquaculture Society AQUA2000 Conference – responsible aquaculture in the new millennium, 2000.
  • Sonnenschein, L.A., Klamen, M. and Leong, L.: Turning Animal Wastes into Environmentally Safe Alternative Uses. World Aquaculture Society AQUA2000 Conference – responsible aquaculture in the new millennium, 2000.
  • Bryan, J.L., Longmore, W. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: A Study of Coral Diet Supplements in a Closed Ecosystem. 2nd International Conference on Marine Ornamentals, 2001.
  • Rule, V.K., Longmore, W. and Sonnenschein, L.A.: The Effects of Sulfur on Nitrate Levels in a Closed Saltwater Ecosystem. 2nd International Conference on Marine Ornamentals, 2001.


  • Amazon Biodiversity Conference, St. Louis, MO, 1999.