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Meet The Team Behind: Project O

Project O is a California-based nonprofit that is working to restore, protect, and sustain the ocean. By partnering with various ocean protection organizations, Project O is inspiring communities around the world to care for the ocean and the life within it. Learn more about their work here

What is Project O’s mission?

Project O is a non-profit based in the coastal town of Laguna Beach, California. By restoring, protecting and sustaining the ocean and all that lives in it, we ensure the wellbeing of humankind now and for generations to come. Our various programs and projects include developing and supporting innovative partner programs for ocean conservation, and educating the next generation to protect the ocean and make cleaning up plastic pollution a priority.

What is the story behind Project O? 

Project O was founded by entrepreneur and conservationist Rich German in 2010. Rich’s fascination with stand-up paddle boarding ignited a journey that would shape his legacy. Having navigated an astonishing 30,000 miles— more than the circumference of the Earth— he has documented over 2,000 awe-inspiring interactions with dolphins and whales. Rich’s passion led him to found Project O, which is committed to the preservation and protection of our ocean and the fragile life within it. Through its innovative Blue City Network, his work is at the forefront of guiding cities toward regenerative practices, harmonizing the progress of urban development with the needs of the environment. 

What is the Blue City Network?

The Blue City Network is a certification system that recognizes cities and counties that demonstrate their communities’ commitment to healthy waterways and oceans. Participants gain access to proven resources and blueprints provided by top environmental nonprofits, cities, and governmental agencies. Upon certification, participants become part of the Blue City Network, a coalition of communities from around the world that collaborate in their ongoing quest to become true champions of the environment.

Why is protecting the oceans important?

The ocean is the planet’s life support system; it provides the air we breathe, water to drink, food to eat, new medicines, a liveable climate, plus beauty and recreation. More than half the oxygen we breathe every day is produced by the ocean, and oceans absorb around half the world’s carbon dioxide. As much as 80% of all life on earth is found beneath the ocean’s surface, making it the world’s largest ecosystem. The ocean and the animals within it are under severe threat from overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, warming, and acidification, among other dangers.


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