Aquatic Conservation Fund


The WAVE Foundation at the Newport Aquarium has a team of staff members and volunteers who serve to raise and distribute funds for local, regional, national or global conservation efforts. These funds are distributed in the form of an Aquatic Conservation Grant (ACG).

Our goal is to maximize projects, events and initiatives which support aquatic life, natural resources and wildlife on a local, regional, national and global scopepea.

The Conservation Fund Committee accepts applications throughout the year with no start or end date.  However, we meet twice a year to review grant requests.  Please submit applications at least two weeks in advance to ensure proper time to review. The Committee will then meet to discuss any new grant requests received. The review dates are listed below.

2017 Submission Dates: Friday April 22nd 2017 and Friday October 21st 2017

*2017 funds are no longer available! Thank you to everyone who applied and we encourage submitting a proposal in 2018. Submission dates for 2018 will be posted later this year.*

What we fund:

We are looking for conservation initiatives on a local, regional, national or global scale that fits into the WAVE Foundation’s mission of “Promoting the Welfare of Aquatic Life through Advocacy, Volunteerism and Education.”

What we do not fund:

Professional development; tuition costs; salaries for staff, interns or volunteers; and travel not associated with funded projects.


Submissions received for the Friday April 22nd date will be notified by June 1st, 2017.

Submissions received for the October 21st deadline will be notified by December 1st, 2017.

Occasionally, the Committee members will have additional questions about the project, and if this is the case, the author of the grant will be notified with the questions. Once the questions have been addressed, the Committee members will be notified of the responses and a vote will go through the WAVE Foundation’s Board of Directors.

If we are unable to fund any proposal due to lack of funds, you will be notified as soon as possible. If applicable, we will give the option to resubmit the grant with a new fund limit, or ask to resubmit in the following year.

Click here to read the ACG Proposal Guidelines before filling out the application.
Click here to download the ACG Application Form.
Click here to see Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any questions about submitting an ACG, or if you would like to submit a completed ACG form, please e-mail our Executive Director, Scott Wingate at

Once we receive the ACG, a confirmation letter will be sent out within a week. If you do not receive this confirmation letter within that time frame, please attempt to e-mail again at


Examples of projects we have funded:

SANCCOB: $4,000.00


SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) is an organization located in South Africa that works directly with the endangered African penguin and other shore bird species. In 2013, they requested funding for the upkeep and management of their chick-rearing unit for African penguins. We have been able to continue this funding in 2014 and provided $5600 to help maintain the chick-rearing unit.

We decided to continue the funding in 2015 with $4,000 toward their chick-rearing unit. The chick-rearing unit is extremely important for the operations of SANCCOB, and for the penguin species as a whole. Abandoned chicks are one of the main reasons the African penguin species is in danger of extinction, and SANCCOB rescues the chick and cares for them until they are able to be re-released into the wild. This is a project that is very special to the WAVE Foundation because of the Penguin Encounter Program we have with the African penguins at the Newport Aquarium.

Sea Turtle Tagging: $2,417.00


Each year, the Newport Aquarium, in partnership with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Sea Turtle Project, receives a hatchling loggerhead sea turtle that needs rehabilitation. Newport Aquarium Biologists, such as Jen Hazeres who is shown in these pictures, care for this turtle for about a year, possibly more depending on the turtles needs, and then returns the young sea turtle to the ocean. This year, Jen Hazeres requested funding for a satellite tag for the little sea turtle, who is named Tilly. Guests have been watching Tilly grow on exhibit over the last year, and on Tuesday November 4th, 2015, she returned to the ocean with her satellite tag ready! The information gathered from her tag will relay crucial information to better understand sea turtle behavior, migratory patterns, etc. The tag is linked with and you can track her online at the link below…

O’Seas Conservation Foundation: $4,500.00


The WAVE Foundation recently contributed $4500 to the O’Seas Conservation Foundation to assist with Shark Science and Youth Education. Established in 2013, O’Seas Conservation Foundation (OCF) is an organization that actively participates in wildlife conservation projects all over the world. Funds will be used to help study the life history characteristics of the common thresher shark, smooth hammerhead and white shark in New York/New Jersey waters. In addition, a youth education program will be developed, providing students with the necessary skills to excel in Marine Biology, and more importantly, their future. By integrating shark tagging with youth education, this innovative approach will enhance our knowledge pertaining to an understudied species and will help to secure our future through the education and motivation of our environmentally conscious youth.