Blue Cradle is an ocean research and education non-profit foundation. Its mission is to promote ocean science for sustainable development, ocean literacy and marine conservation. It facilitates research expeditions and aims to build a collaborative platform for marine science.
Blue Cradle was born from the idea that the ocean is not only bearing the brunt of the climate and biodiversity crises but is also a fundamental solution to our problems.
Based in Christchurch, the foundation promotes ocean conservation and literacy. The name positions the health and sustainability of oceans worldwide as resting in human hands – the blue cradle.
Blue Cradles works with communities, public organisations and private companies, research institutions, government and multilateral agencies, communities and iwi/hāpū, non-profits and educators. It organises expeditions and field trips and participates in festival and community events.
The foundation focuses on projects that contribute to the understanding of plastic pollution, biosecurity, biodiversity, and climate change in the marine environment.
In November 2020, it received grants from the Rātā Foundation and Environment Canterbury for a citizen science project on Banks Peninsula on the white-flippered penguin. This was led by the Pōhatu ecotourism company.
The foundation has developed relationships with the Cawthron Institute, ESR, and Algalita to start a collaborative scientific expedition looking at the impact of microplastics and biosecurity in Northland and Fiordland waters. This includes two nationally significant research programmes. “Aotearoa Impacts and Mitigation of Microplastics” brings together researchers from six New Zealand institutions to identify current pollution and how it might be remediated. The “Marine Biosecurity Toolbox’ is a collaborative programme to develop science-based tools and technologies that empower governments, tangata whenua, industry, and the public to effectively mitigate biosecurity risks.
The foundation is also lobbying to bring the 6th International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC6) to Christchurch in 2026.
Blue Cradle wants to make ocean science and conservation more accessible through research, education, collaboration, and digital production. Their long-term goal is to acquire their own research vessel.