Top 5 Charities to Support on World Oceans Day

Ocean threats

Whether you're a beach bum, a water sports enthusiast, nature lover, or someone who can't resist the allure of fresh seafood - the oceans play an important part in all of our lives. Did you know that our oceans generate over half of the oxygen we breathe? Not only that, but they also regulate our climate, provide a habitat for countless marine species, and offer endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

Peaceful as it looks, it's not all smooth sailing out there! Our oceans are facing some pretty big threats that we need to tackle head-on. Take overfishing, for example. We’re not just missing out on our favourite fish and chips; it's also disrupting the delicate balance of marine life and putting the food security of millions at risk. Plastic pollution is a huge threat too - single use plastics and chemicals that find their way into our waters are wreaking havoc on our beloved marine creatures and their homes.

If you want to help protect our oceans for the future, here are five amazing UK-based charities to support. Remember that raising awareness and funds for your cause is super easy with givestar; just download our app (available on the Apple app store, and Google Play store), set up your own fundraising campaign and you’re good to go! 

Surfers Against Sewage

Photo Credit: Surfers Against Sewage

Their mission 💪

The amazing folks at SAS are on a mission to tackle pollution and keep our surf spots clean and pristine. What started as a group of passionate surfers who couldn't bear to see their waves trashed has now become a force to be reckoned with. They’re demanding an end to sewage discharge into UK bathing waters, and an end to plastic pollution on beaches by 2030.

Current projects 🌊

Since 2021, SAS have organised an annual mass beach cleanup event called the Million Mile Clean. The aim is to rally 100,000 volunteers to each clean 10 miles of blue, green or city space. The Million Mile Clean is a chance to get together and feel the benefits of community spirit and to pick up the trash that covers our coastlines, canal paths, bridleways and city streets. It’s now the biggest initiative of its kind in the UK - if you want to get involved, you can sign up here.

Why we love them ❤️

SAS started as a group of passionate individuals who came together over 30 years ago for a cause close to their hearts. Now, they’ve formed a thriving and impactful organisation - exactly the kind of unlikely story that we love to champion!

Fundraising idea 🧗

Take part in an extreme activity! Ever fancied doing a skydive, bungee jump or abseil? No, same here. But, when it’s to raise funds for a good cause, like Surfers Against Sewage, then we think we could get behind it. Set up your fundraising page on givestar and ask for donations from friends and family, then all that’s left is to do the deed itself! 

Marine Conservation Society

Photo Credit: Marine Conservation Society

Mission 💪

The Marine Conservation Society is a UK-wide community of ocean lovers working together towards their vision for a better-protected, healthier ocean, where nature flourishes. The MCS are campaigning for a minimum of 30% of UK waters being effectively managed by 2030 to protect wildlife and ecosystems.

Current projects 🧑‍🏫

MCS’ work is split into three main areas:

  • Campaigning to stop pollution entering our oceans in the first place by influencing politicians and businesses to make policy, legislative and practical changes.
  • Educating people and businesses to understand the value of a healthy ocean and change their behaviour.
  • Organising volunteer beach cleans to remove and record existing rubbish on the UK coastline.

They’re currently recruiting for a number of volunteer roles including community presenters, media spokespeople and beach-cleaners. You can find out more and sign up here.

Why we love them ❤️

They have a particular focus on UK beaches which means that their impact is felt close to home. They’ve also been instrumental in some of the recent bans on single-use items in the UK which is a big step forward for the UK in terms of sustainability.

Fundraising idea 🏊

Take part in a swimathon. Whether you're a fan of wild swimming in the great outdoors or prefer the comfort of your local pool, swimming is an awesome way to raise funds for ocean-based charities such as the MCS. You can either organise your very own swimming challenge or join a pre-existing event in your local area. Set up a fundraising campaign on givestar and ask your friends and family to sponsor you to complete the swim.

Blue Marine Foundation

Photo Credit: Blue Marine Foundation

Mission 💪

Blue Marine Foundation’s mission is to restore the ocean to health by addressing overfishing, one of the world’s biggest environmental problems. They’re aiming to see at least 30% of the world’s ocean under effective protection by 2030 and the other 70% managed in a responsible way.

Current projects 🎣

Blue Marine Foundation’s main focus is securing new marine protected areas worldwide and then restoring those marine habitats to revive and protect vulnerable and threatened species. They’re also developing models of sustainable fishing to prove that low-impact fishing benefits marine life, local fishers and communities with a focus on education and empowerment.

Why we love them ❤️

Blue Marine is one of few UK charities focussing solely on the issue of overfishing. They’re a fast-paced organisation who challenge the status quo - something we love to do at givestar too!

Fundraising idea 💇

Shave your head for charity! Have you ever thought about going for the ultimate bold move to support a charity? It's an incredible way to show your commitment and make a powerful statement for a cause you care about. Just imagine the impact of a video capturing your courageous act, shared across social media along with a link to your givestar fundraising page. Grab those clippers and get ready for a fresh new look!


Mission 💪

We know you’ve heard of them before but we couldn’t not include these guys. WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organisations, but what you may not realise is that, as well as on land, they also do a great deal of work in our oceans too.

Current projects 🐠 

The WWF’s scope is large and they’re supporting a huge number of projects both in the UK and abroad. Their focus, first and foremost, is helping wildlife in any way they can. Key projects include lobbying governments for legislative change, educating communities worldwide and pioneering sustainable fishing practices.

Why we love them ❤️

This amazing team is so broad that there’s barely a corner of the globe that they’ve not helped. From supporting sustainable fisheries in the UK to conserving the barrier reefs in Belize, if you’re looking to maximise your impact -  these are the folks!

Fundraising idea 🥶

Take part in a polar plunge! Picture this: diving into an icy-cold ocean to re-energize yourself while raising funds for the WWF at the same time. It's a double win! Whether you choose a beach, lake, or a local pool as your plunge spot, one thing's for sure—it will definitely grab attention and get people excited. So, set up your fundraising campaign, grab your swimsuit and ask your friends and family to dig deep!

Sea Shepherd UK

Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd UK

Mission 💪

Established in 2005, Sea Shepherd’s mission is to defend, conserve, and protect ocean wildlife and habitats in the UK, Iceland and Faroe Islands. They focus on investigating illegal operations, exposing cruelty, and documenting the unnecessary exploitation of marine wildlife using their international fleet of ten ships and several smaller boats.

Current projects 🛥️

In 2018, Sea Shepherd UK launched the Ghostnet Campaign to address the important issue of discarded fishing gear in our seas. The campaign uses experienced divers and their fleet of fast boats to locate and recover fishing gear, ensuring it is safely disposed of or recycled. Care is taken to protect underwater wrecks and collaborate with relevant authorities for permits and compliance. The goal is to remove gear without harming marine life and preserving ocean habitats.

Why we love them ❤️

Sea Shepherd use their network of volunteers to make a big and immediate impact by removing ocean ‘rubbish’. They also host regular beach clean events so it’s easy to get involved practically if you’d like to do more than just fundraise.

Fundraising idea 🍾

Get ready to host the ultimate "big night in" and have a blast while raising funds for Sea Shepherd UK! Why go out to dinner or hit the pub when you can create an unforgettable evening in the comfort of your own home? Here's the plan: invite your awesome friends over and get ready for a fun-filled evening and let the culinary adventures begin! You can showcase your kitchen skills by whipping up a delicious three-course meal, or you can turn it into a potluck and have everyone bring their favourite dish. Plan some exciting activities like a lively quiz, arts and crafts session, or even a screening of a live event. Set up your fundraising page on givestar and ask your friends to donate what they would've spent on a night out. Every pound raised will make a difference!

If you've been inspired to make a difference to our oceans, set up your fundraising campaign on givestar today.

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