Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, is working with Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and in-region sub-contractors to coordinate several aspects related to the management of the Eastern Caribbean’s flyingfish fishery as part of the Global Environment Facility-funded Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) project. Specifically, Blue Earth Consultants is coordinating: 1) a review and update of the Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Fishery Management Plan in the context of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management; 2) development of a partnership agreement between the CRFM and France to improve flyingfish management; and 3) development of a sub-regional data policy to harmonize flyingfish data collection and analysis. Blue Earth Consultants will use approaches including a desk review of existing management plans and policies as well as online surveys, in-person consultation meetings, and calls with fisheries managers and key national stakeholders from the six Eastern Caribbean countries and France. We will synthesize feedback and information from these research methods to develop recommendations to CRFM for improving management of the flyingfish fishery. Blue Earth Consultants will also develop information products for public outreach and prepare an impact assessment tool to allow CRFM to monitor and evaluate the results of the project.
Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, is supporting an anonymous non-profit/NGO to improve sustainable financing for The Bahamas National Protected Area Fund (BPAF), a start-up national conservation fund that will support protected area management in The Bahamas. Blue Earth Consultants is working with the client to develop a costing analysis and financial gap assessment for The Bahamas National Protected Area System. To develop the analysis and assessment, we are reviewing existing financing gap analyses and gathering costing and financial gap information from protected area management agency staff through a webinar, an in-country workshop, interviews, and an online survey. Blue Earth Consultants will then perform online research and stakeholder consultations to identify potential sustainable financing mechanisms (SFMs) that the BPAF could pursue to fill the identified financial gaps. Finally, we will lead a workshop with the client and national stakeholders to prioritize one SFM for the BPAF to pursue in the near term and develop an implementation plan for that SFM. As part of the final report, Blue Earth Consultants will develop a briefing document that the client can provide to relevant policymakers and agency staff to share findings from the consultancy and map out the path forward for sustainable financing for protected area management in The Bahamas.
Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, is supporting Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) as they coordinate development of several white papers for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 50 Reefs concept. Blue Earth Consultants will lead the development of two white papers, and support WCS and technical experts on the development of a third white paper. The two papers that Blue Earth will lead are: (1) Lessons Learned from Previous Investments, an assessment of public and private founding collaboratives for coral reef conservation, and (2) Institutional Landscape and Gap Assessment: Assessment of NGOs, Intergovernmental Organizations, Government, and Private Sector Capacity in Coral Reef Conservation, an organizational and sectoral assessment of coral reef conservation capacity, summarizing objectives, targets, and approaches for coral reef conservation. Blue Earth Consultants will also support the development of a third paper, Coral Reef Solution-Scape: Assessment of Approaches to Coral Reef Conservation, aiming to synthesize and summarize current tools, approaches, and solutions for coral reef conservation. Blue Earth Consultants will conduct web and literature research, interview stakeholders, and design graphics for the white papers. The white papers will inform and provide scientific backing for the discussions and decisions at an in-person workshop at the Bloomberg Headquarters in New York City, and therefore ultimately support the development of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ coral reef granting strategy.
Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, supported WildAid with strategic planning for their Marine Program, focused on strengthening marine protected areas (MPAs) and fisheries management. This included identifying strengths and areas of improvement for WildAid Marine Program’s programmatic model, as well as assessing programmatic opportunities and needs for scaling. We assessed how the WildAid Marine Program can implement operationally. Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with key partners, stakeholders, funders, and WildAid staff to gather their insights on WildAid’s Marine Program current operational and programmatic work, as well as future programmatic needs, partnerships, and financing opportunities. Blue Earth Consultants drew from the interviews and research to draft strategic recommendations for WildAid Marine Program’s programmatic model and priority opportunities to implement in the future.
Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, acted as a sub-contractor and supported TERRAMAR Consulting Group with a technical review and graphic design of their final report for their project “Laying a Foundation for Success: Planning for the Low Carbon, Sustainable Cities in India Workshop” funded by Hewlett Foundation. Blue Earth Consultants provided a detailed write-up of high-level review comments, developed a design brief, produced graphic visuals, and a line edit of the final report. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants created a GIS map for the India workshop.
Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, supported Island Conservation with the recruitment of a new staff member and design of a strategic planning process. This included developing a job description informed by staff interviews, posting the job description on strategic websites, conducting applicant phone interviews, organizing in-person interviews, corresponding with applicants, and maintaining regular communication with Island Conservation staff. To inform the strategic planning process, Blue Earth Consultants coordinated meetings and engagement to seek input from Island Conservation staff and the Board of Directors. Blue Earth Consultants developed a final written document and PowerPoint outlining a strategic planning process for Island Conservation to implement in 2017-2018.
As the implementing partner of Coastal Quest, Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, is assisting OPC with building capacity of the 14 California Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaboratives that form the MPA Collaborative Network. This includes working with OPC and other key state and federal partners and local stakeholders to plan and coordinate a statewide forum, developing a network charter, and administering a small grants program for OPC that supports each of the 14 MPA Collaboratives. The coordination of the small grants program consists of working with a state-appointed grant review committee to develop a request for proposals, performing outreach focused on skill-building to each of the 14 MPA Collaboratives, reviewing and awarding grants, documenting lessons learned from grants, and performing monitoring and evaluation throughout the grant-making process. Grants awarded will focus on improving management, raising awareness, and increase funding to support and implement local community MPA programs.
Blue Earth Consultants is assisting the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Moore Foundation) in understanding strategies and best practices for large-scale foundation exits. We are documenting best practices, challenges, and lessons learned in the Moore Foundation’s past, ongoing, and potential exits, including in-depth case study research of two initiatives that have or are in the process of exiting: the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative (BIMNI) and the Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative (WSEI). We are also reviewing and identifying best practices for exits from other foundations; identifying and developing recommendations for exit principles; and sharing findings with other funders through presentations and publicly disseminated products. To inform the recommendations, Blue Earth Consultants will conduct a literature review of internal Moore Foundation documents related to exits, as well as other key literature in the field on exit best practices, and qualitative interviews with Moore Foundation staff, key partners of BIMNI and WSEI, and other funders. Blue Earth Consultants will also develop abstracts to present at conferences and convene a group of funders at a national workshop or conference to share research findings and engage other funders in thinking about exit best practices.
Blue Earth Consultants and Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG) worked with the client to prepare a summary of accomplishments to date, lessons learned, an overview of the grant-making strategy, and potential models to consider for the future. Blue Earth Consultants and ERG reviewed key documents and facilitated a one-day meeting with client staff to gather their insights on core projects, accomplishments, and the strategic direction of the Program. Based on this input and the document review, Blue Earth Consultants and ERG developed draft and final summary documents of the Program Strategy.
Blue Earth Consultants is working with Oceana to map out a strategy to increase uptake and impact of GFW in two key target countries: Peru and Chile. For each of these countries, Blue Earth will review country-specific strategic documents, coordinate with in-country Oceana teams, and conduct focus groups with key stakeholders (e.g., fisheries managers, researchers and scientists, non-governmental organizations, fishers, and others) to determine the needs of various user groups, how they will use GFW, and barriers and challenges to its use. Blue Earth will use this data to recommend country-specific outreach strategies that detail the potential for scaling up use and impact of Global Fishing Watch, country-specific outreach goals, target audiences, potential partnerships for Oceana to engage in to increase uptake of GFW, challenges and barriers, and tools for monitoring and evaluation the use and impact of GFW.
Blue Earth Consultants is working with the California Ocean Science Trust (OST) to develop a new three-year strategic plan. The plan will outline the organization’s strategies, including reassessing and updating OST’s vision, mission, goals, and core values, and developing programmatic and operational goals, objectives, measures of success, high level branding strategies, and partnership strategies. Blue Earth Consultants will facilitate Board meetings as well as conduct interviews with key government partners, philanthropic donors, and OST staff and board members to gather their insights on OST’s strengths and opportunities for the future, programmatic model, future strategic initiatives, and funding targets and options. Blue Earth Consultants will draw from the meetings and research to draft a strategic plan.
Blue Earth Consultants is working with Orange County Marine Protected Area Council (OCMPAC) to enhance management and strengthen enforcement, compliance, outreach, and education for abalone populations and habitat in Orange County, California. We are supporting the development of four management frameworks for abalone, including for: 1) Suitable Habitat and Management Targets; 2) Abalone, Kelp, and Rocky Reef Research and Monitoring; 3) Enforcement and Compliance; and 4) Outreach and Education. Blue Earth Consultants is collecting data and information on abalone populations and habitat in Orange County by conducting web research and gathering input from local abalone experts using an online survey. For each framework, Blue Earth Consultants will design and facilitate focus group meetings with key stakeholders from diverse sectors to gather information, and with OCMPAC develop the draft and final frameworks.
Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) is a unique partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), at the University of California, Santa Barbara that leverages the strengths of the three partner organizations and a collaborative network of experts to deliver evidence-based, scalable solutions. Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a meeting with SNAPP’s fundraising team and supported the development of a strategy to guide their joint fundraising activities over the coming three years. Drawing upon meeting outcomes, Blue Earth Consultants developed a first draft of the Fundraising Plan, which SNAPP fundraising team members will refine and implement.
Blue Earth Consultants developed a strategic business plan for a new local management organization, composed of an anonymous nonprofit/NGO, the California State Coastal Conservancy, and the City of Oxnard. These three partners are collaborating on the acquisition and planning, as well as future management and restoration, of critical coastal habitat at Ormond Beach in Oxnard, California. Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a participatory strategic planning process with the three partners, which included gathering input and buy-in from community leaders and partners with the goal of developing a five-year strategic business plan for the new management organization. We interviewed key government partners, community leaders, philanthropic donors, private sector representatives, and nonprofit organizations to collect their insights on the management organization’s strategy, the structure of the entity, and governance options. Based on this input and other background information, Blue Earth Consultants developed and share a straw proposal of the strategic business plan and facilitated a two-day meeting to refine and finalize each of its elements. Blue Earth Consultants drew from the decisions at the meeting and developed a draft and final strategic business plan.
Blue Earth Consultants is supporting Marisla Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation with four working groups collaborating to reverse the decline of vaquita and stop the illegal totoaba fishery and wildlife trafficking originating in the Gulf of California region. Blue Earth Consultants is assisting the working groups with activities such as coordinating and facilitating conference calls and note-taking, supporting further work planning and timeline development, highlighting cross working group opportunities, conducting small research projects, drafting short documents (e.g., press release or letter) and other to be determined tasks the groups may request.
Blue Earth Consultants provided travel logistic support for Marisla Foundation’s Baja-Fest, a 30-year anniversary celebration. Blue Earth Consultants coordinated participant registration and travel reimbursements.
Building off the success of a 2015 workshop, for a second year Blue Earth Consultants supported University of California, Irvine (UCI), including the Empowering Sustainability Initiative and UCI OCEANS, in developing a public workshop focused on integrating coastal resilience into planning and decision-making in California. Blue Earth Consultants developed themes and objectives for the workshop, identified and coordinated with keynote speakers and expert panelists, developed and broadly distributed marketing materials for the workshop, and created a detailed process agenda for the full day event. We also developed materials to guide break-out groups where participants, including California coastal planners, managers, practitioners, and decision-makers, discussed specific topical areas and reported back to the group. Following the workshop, we led a real-time evaluation by collecting input from participants on areas that were successful and could be improved in future years.
Blue Earth Consultants supported the countries of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia in developing country-specific grant-making frameworks designed to inform grant-making for National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs) in each country. The two NCTFs are associated with the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, a regional conservation trust fund designed to provide sustainable funding to support the conservation and protection of biodiversity of participating countries. The grant-making frameworks identified: 1) key threats to ecosystem health and statement of need for effective management of protected areas; 2) indicative national trust fund conservation goals and priorities; and 3) criteria and guidelines and allocations. Blue Earth Consultants worked collaboratively with an anonymous nonprofit/NGO and the two NCTFs to develop the grant-making frameworks through: 1) conducting an online survey of key protected area stakeholders in each country; 2) conducting interviews with key informants involved in protected area management and the NCTFs; and 3) coordinating stakeholder focus groups and workshops with the boards of each NCTF in both countries to develop and refine the grant-making framework. The final products of this project will help guide the allocation of funding for protected area management in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia.
Blue Earth Consultants supported the Hawaii-based nonprofit organization Pacific Rim Conservation (PRC), whose main focus is bird conservation, by developing a three-year strategic business plan. The plan outlined the organization’s operational structure, strategy for sustainable growth, and set the future direction of the organization. We also assessed the feasibility of PRC acting as a fiscal sponsor to other organizations and developed a database of potentially aligned funders for PRC to pursue. Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with regional experts to inform PRC’s strategy, and also with staff of existing fiscal sponsors to learn about best practices, market size, and more. Based on this research, Blue Earth Consultants developed a straw proposal of PRC’s strategic business plan and presented and refined the plan at a 1.5-day meeting with PRC staff. Based on the outcomes of the meeting, we developed a strategic business plan that sets the organization’s direction and maps a plan for how to effectively scale up programmatically and operationally.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in preparation in establishing a Caribbean Coastal Capital Center of Excellence (CCCCE), dedicated to assessing and promoting the benefits of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the region. In collaboration with the IDB, we developed a comprehensive proposal to address the growing demand for local expertise and regional understanding of coastal natural capital. We conducted a situational analysis to understand and inventory the regions’ current capacity in to monitor, valuate, assess, and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services, and identifying recent work, available literature, best practices, gaps, and lessons learned. For a more in-depth perspective, we conducted a functional and organizational analysis and documented areas of opportunity, regional needs, demand for services, and level of support and assessed various programmatic options for the proposed CCCCE. To capture a broad understanding of current capacity and gaps, we interviewed experts and key stakeholders from government, research institutions, universities, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, funders, and the private sector. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a two-day workshop with key stakeholders and developed a meeting summary report, Blue Earth-recommended proposal, and action plan for Phase II proposal development.
Blue Earth Consultants supported the California Fisheries Program of an anonymous international nonprofit/NGO by developing a comprehensive three-year campaign strategy that maps out the scaling of their program from demonstration projects to multi-species and state-wide adoption of new management approaches. Blue Earth Consultants reviewed existing program strategy documents and developed a straw proposal of a consolidated campaign strategy framework. Blue Earth Consultants then facilitated a 1.5-day meeting with California Fisheries Program staff, including by developing an agenda, meeting objectives, and a detailed facilitation plan. Blue Earth Consultants presented and discussed each component of the campaign strategy straw proposal, and drafted the campaign strategy based on input and decisions from the meeting. The campaign strategy includes the program’s vision, goals, niche and role, theory of change, strategies, outcomes, milestones, and conservation impact measures, as well as a high-level implementation plan and outline for scaling up pilot projects. The campaign strategy also outlines approaches to partnership, adaptive management of the program, and risk mitigation.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted a strategic planning process for the Fundación Amigos de la Isla del Coco (FAICO). This project includes four main tasks: 1) assessing five key elements of marine protected area (MPA) effectiveness for the Área de Conservación Marine Isla del Coco (ACMIC) and two MPAs within it (Cocos Island National Park and Montes Submarinos Marine Managed Area); 2) developing a fundraising plan for FAICO; 3) developing a strategic business plan for FAICO; and 4) researching and recommending best practices for innovation and scaling up in NGOs. As part of the first project components (Assessment of Five Key Elements), we reviewed ACMIC and FAICO background documents to understand the context and history regarding monitoring, communication, enforcement, and other aspects, and then performed web research and conducted interviews with stakeholders and participants in ACMIC management to learn about the status, needs, opportunities, and costs. Based on the research and findings, we evaluated management effectiveness of the MPAs. In the second project component (Fundraising Plan), Blue Earth conducted funder research, developed a funder database, and conducted interviews with funders in the region to build political and financial support for FAICO and identify potential new sources of funding. For the third project component (Strategic Business Plan), Blue Earth helped FAICO develop a strategic business plan, building on its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the future to create a strategic pathway forward for FAICO to achieve its vision and mission. Finally, for the fourth project component, Blue Earth conducted research to assess best and innovative practices that other NGOs have used to create new models, build capabilities, and scale up activities through conducting case study research and interviews with thought-leaders and funders. This final component informed the Strategic Business Plan and recommended strategies FAICO could use to scale up in the future.
Blue Earth Consultants reviewed the coordination of the California’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Network, a public-private partnership aimed at bringing together local organizations, state agencies, and other stakeholders to support MPA management. Collaboratives provide a localized approach to ocean resource management by bringing together local experts and authorities in the areas of outreach and education, enforcement and compliance, and research and monitoring, and connecting their work to that of state MPA managers. The review identified opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the Collaborative Network’s coordination of the individual collaboratives, including the Network’s programmatic focus, systems and processes, and role in supporting California state partners. Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with Collaborative Network staff, participants in local collaboratives, and institutional partners, and reviewed a selection of relevant documents, meetings, and trainings. The research informed a report with recommendations to improve the Collaborative Network’s systems, processes, and program, as well as considerations for future resource needs, sources of revenue, and housing for the Collaborative Network staff. The recommendations will help the Collaborative Network fulfill their role and niche in MPA management and strengthen their support to institutional partners.
Blue Earth Consultants provided support to the California Ocean Science Trust (OST), who is coordinating a Climate Change and Fisheries Working Group. The Working Group developed a guidance document to inform the Marine Life Management Act Master Plan update. The document highlighted potential climate change impacts to fisheries and adaptive management response options to ensure resilient communities and fisheries. Blue Earth Consultants acted as a writing consultant for the socio-economic and governance sections of the guidance document, and worked closely with OST staff, the Working Group, and state managers. Click here to view: Readying California Fisheries for Climate Change (Summary and Full Report)
Blue Earth Consultants supported University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) work on coastal and ocean sustainability by identifying potential private foundation funding sources and supporting the development of strategic partnerships focused on coastal and ocean sustainability in Cuba. We conducted web-based research to create a database describing the landscape of private philanthropic foundations that align with UCI’s topical and geographic focus regarding sustainability. We also performed research to populate the database with potential partners for sustainability initiatives in Cuba, including government and non-governmental organizations. Blue Earth Consultants’ Principal then travelled to Cuba with UCI staff to meet with potential partners and further understand partnership opportunities. The research informed a memo outlining recommendations and next steps for UCI to build collaborative coastal and ocean sustainability partnerships in Cuba.
Blue Earth Consultants supported the The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s (Packard Foundation) Western Pacific subprogram in conducting a landscape assessment and planning evaluations. We assisted the Western Pacific subprogram to make strategic decisions and develop a plan on how to conduct evaluations, with a focus on four of the program’s countries: Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Palau, and Papua New Guinea. This plan will in turn inform the Foundation about how to exit the four countries effectively. To provide this assistance, Blue Earth Consultants worked with the subprogram team, in collaboration with Packard Foundation leadership as well as team members from Organizational Effectiveness subprogram; Communications; and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning departments on how to effectively implement their shifts in grant-making and new strategic directions. Blue Earth Consultants conducted a landscape assessment of donors and partners, identified country-specific evaluation needs and an approach and developed a framework for in-country evaluations, and supported the development of a strategy for exiting the four countries effectively.
Blue Earth Consultants supported Marisla Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (the Foundations) as they convened non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing a collaborative strategy focused on reversing the decline of vaquita and the illegal totoaba fishery and wildlife trafficking originating in the Gulf of California region. The project aimed to map actors both in Mexico and internationally and the strategies they are deploying, as well as understand potential interest in participating in the development and implementation of a collaborative strategy to solve the vaquita and totoaba issues. Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with key stakeholders to inform the development of a landscape assessment on current and planned efforts and situational analysis to assess interest levels in participating in a collaborative strategy(ies) focused on vaquita and totoaba issues. The findings informed the structure of a collaborative meeting with key stakeholders, in which Blue Earth Consultants coordinated participant travel logistics and facilitated the strategic planning meeting discussions. Blue Earth Consultants developed meeting summary notes and shared the notes back with the Foundations.
Blue Earth Consultants supported the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) by refining and developing a strategic direction for the Ocean Giants initiative, which is focused on saving marine mammals globally. Blue Earth Consultants reviewed WCS background documents and interviewed thought leaders and experts in the field. Based on these data and information, we made strategy recommendations, sought input from the client, and drafted a strategy document. We also supported WCS by reviewing and adding to a database of potential private and corporate foundation donors for the initiative. We performed interviews with foundation staff to identify potential target funders and strategies to engage them. Based on this research, we developed a fundraising plan for the Marine Mammals strategy.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted Anonymous Foundation with the recruitment of an Administrator/Program Officer staff position. Blue Earth Consultants was the project manager of the process and provided advise to Anonymous Foundation staff by posting position on strategic websites, conducting applicant phone interviews, organizing in-person interviews, corresponding with applicants, and maintaining regular communication with Anonymous Foundation staff.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s (Moore Foundation) Marine Conservation Initiative (MCI) by investigating the California National Marine Sanctuaries’ (NMS) approach to planning and how the approach aligns with recommended ocean planning elements identified through recommendations from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Blue Earth Consultants identified best practices and lessons learned from the California NMSs and opportunities to strengthen ocean planning in the NMSs and integrate it with regional planning efforts on the West Coast. We assessed the California NMSs’ plan development and plan review processes for the four existing California NMSs, including the Channel Islands, Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay. To gather relevant data, Blue Earth Consultants conducted phone interviews with sanctuary managers, decision-makers and stakeholders who have participated in California sanctuary management and planning, and experts on ocean planning. Based on the research and findings, we identified and highlighted lessons learned, opportunities to strengthen ocean planning in the NMSs, and potential mechanisms for making connections between the sanctuaries and West Coast Regional Ocean Planning. We delivered a PowerPoint sharing preliminary findings and a final report.
Blue Earth Consultants supported a management and sustainability program for conch, a fishery that holds great economic and cultural value in The Bahamas. We performed extensive research on the fishery and synthesized the best available data and information in a literature review report. We identified potential areas for improving conch management in The Bahamas by learning about existing conch management structures and cross-walking them against elements of the Marine Stewardship Council standard to identify gaps. We also performed web and literature research on the national and export markets for conch in The Bahamas, and conducted in-person stakeholder interviews and questionnaires to gain more in-depth understanding of conch fishery management, markets, and economic and cultural values. We summarized findings of the interviews and questionnaires in a Stakeholder Analysis Report and developed a final Evaluation Report that highlights management gaps and potential policy and management changes to improve conch fishery management in The Bahamas.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted an evaluation of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s (Moore Foundation) San Francisco Bay Area Conservation Program (BACP). Specifically, we assessed the effectiveness of current stewardship activities and critical stewardship needs on 47 Moore Foundation- land protection grants with a total of 105 protected area, conservation easement, and restoration sites. We also evaluated the impact of funding spent on 36 enabling intervention grants (i.e., grants that support collaboration, research, and capacity building to advance protection and conservation of Bay Area habitats), with in-depth analysis of seven case studies. Blue Earth Consultants conducted web-based research; a thorough review of grantee documents; online surveys; in-person site visits and interviews, and quantitative and qualitative data analysis to inform our assessment and recommendations. Click here to view: SUMMARY San Francisco Bay Area Conservation External Evaluation: Assessing Stewardship Outcomes and Project Impact
Blue Earth Consultants assisted University of California (UC) Davis in advancing a new Marine Sciences Institute (CMSI) and Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) initiative (the CMSI/BML Initiative) focused on promoting long-term partnerships across multiple schools and disciplines, and cross-collaboration of its prestigious CMSI and BML. These partnerships will address the economic, ecological, and social challenges of the rapidly changing land-sea interface. To support this effort, Blue Earth Consultants performed research and developed a strategic business plan and revenue model that provided a road map for the CMSI/BML Initiative moving forward. Blue Earth Consultants conducted case study research on existing university partnership models, researched the competitive landscape of multi/interdisciplinary university partnerships and the market for such efforts, and developed a database and memo describing potential aligned donors for the initiative. To gather this information, Blue Earth Consultants performed web-based research, drew from our existing academic and donor databases, convened focus groups, administered online surveys, and performed individual phone interviews. We presented findings to CMSI/BML leadership and from this research we developed a straw proposal of potential strategic goals and objectives, a governance and revenue model, and innovative opportunities to pursue. We held an in-person meeting with CMSI/BML leadership to refine and finalize the strategic plan and organizational elements, and then developed a strategic business plan, including a 30-year vision and strategy and 5-year business plan.
As the implementing partner of Coastal Quest and with the support of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Blue Earth Consultants provided capacity to CDFW to assist with facilitating a process to develop an operations strategy for SWAP 2015 and support continued interagency collaboration to aid implementation of SWAP 2015’s goal of enhancing the viability of ecosystems. The strategic plan consists of launching and executing a SWAP initiative, which includes implementation objectives, governance and staffing arrangements, and grant/project selection criteria development, and a plan for pilot testing a new partnership approach, and donor partner assessment.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted a valuation of in-kind contributions made by non-State members of Orange County Marine Protected Area Council (OCMPAC) to MPA management activities in Orange County. OCMPAC is a leading Community Collaborative created under the California Collaborative Approach, an innovative regional, partnership-based approach in which partners can support agencies in their management of the State’s MPA network. As the California Collaborative Approach continues to develop, there is a need to understand the contribution of the Community Collaboratives to the management and protection of California’s coastal and marine resources. Therefore, Blue Earth Consultants worked collaboratively with OCMPAC to develop a definition of in-kind contributions, a calculation framework, and a survey tool to share with partners. Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with OCMPAC members to gather additional information, then performed data analysis and calculations and summarized results in a memo that OCMPAC shared with MPA management leadership. Through this approach, Blue Earth Consultants established a replicable methodology for quantifying the value of in-kind contributions made through local partnerships and collaborations related to conservation and protection of natural resources.
Blue Earth Consultants engaged and coordinated nine sector-specific companion plan development teams, comprised of representatives across all sectors, including academic, business, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), State and Federal government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The nine companion plan sectors include Agriculture, Consumptive and Recreational Uses, Energy Development, Forests and Rangelands, Land Use Planning, Marine Resources, Transportation Planning, Tribal Lands, and Water Management. The companion plan process promoted multi-partner cooperation to support development of collaborative efforts that leverage human and financial resources, identify shared goals among SWAP 2015 and other conservation efforts in the State, strengthen the capabilities of partners involved in management and conservation of California’s natural and wildlife resources, and ultimately implement prioritized conservation actions effectively. Blue Earth Consultants prepared and facilitated meetings to gather information from each development team regarding conservation priorities, how to support implementation of the SWAP 2015 including partnership opportunities, areas of alignment between partners, and opportunities to leverage existing efforts to achieve the goals of the SWAP 2015. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants developed and vetted the nine companion plans with development teams and also led and supported CDFW in a public review process. Blue Earth Consultants captured CDFW and public comment on drafts and then integrated comments, as appropriate, into each companion plan. Finally, Blue Earth Consultants supported release of the companion plans as a follow up to the updated SWAP 2015.
As the implementing partner of Coastal Quest and with the financial support of Hawaii Community Foundation’s Natural Resources Conservation Endowment Fund, Blue Earth Consultants collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Island Regional Planning Body, Duke University, and Battelle Memorial Institute and supported a coastal and marine spatial planning training in Hawaii. The project consisted of identifying Hawaiian community and native Hawaiian leaders to participate in the training; coordinating and support travel of local participation in the event; advising the steering committee on a monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework that could be applied to assess the results of the training; and facilitating fundraising and disbursement of funding.
Blue Earth Consultants is supporting the Flora Family Foundation’s (FFF) marine conservation grant-making by facilitating marine committee meetings, providing strategic advice, and conducting due diligence and research on potential grantees for FFF to consider.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the Optical Society Foundation (OSAF) with identifying priorities for the organization’s multi-year campaign and grant-making strategy. Blue Earth Consultants interviewed Board members to hear their priorities and based on this input, facilitated an in-person meeting. At the meeting, we facilitated discussions to seek agreement on a mission, strategies, goals, and objectives to inspire a campaign as well as identify next steps for OSAF to consider moving forward.
Blue Earth Consultants developed a strategic plan for Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) that will help guide grant-making related to an endangered species fund. To inform the planning process, Blue Earth Consultants conducted research on endangered species in the region and interviewed endangered species experts including academic researchers, foundation staff, government staff, and non-governmental organization staff to further understand the needs and priorities of state and federally listed endangered species. In addition, we identified future endangered species conservation opportunities and projects in Orange County and information on potential partners and funding opportunities, all of which is presented in a final strategic funding plan.
To support program development, Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a multi-day working meeting among the nonprofit/NGO staff and leadership from across the Pacific region. At the meeting, Blue Earth Consultants facilitated discussions and agreements on the strategic and operational aspects of the Program. We then drafted a five-year strategic plan for the Program, which includes the Program’s vision, goals, strategies, theory of change, two-year work plan, and governance and operational aspects. Blue Earth Consultants also provided note-taking and synthesis of outcomes from the Program’s first workshop convening of high-level species experts to ideate on cutting-edge market-based solutions for species management in the Pacific.
Blue Earth Consultants provided assistance on a technical report to scope opportunities for expansion of partnership models to support fisheries management improvements in California. We reviewed the draft document and provided suggestions on how to improve the tone, flow, vision, and applicability to fishery management stakeholder audiences. We then implemented the revisions to improve readability and organization and ensure consistent level of detail. Blue Earth Consultants also drew on our institutional knowledge of and relationships with California fishery management agencies to suggest paths forward for socializing the report and engaging productively with fisheries managers.
Blue Earth Consultants worked with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) OCEANS Initiative to design and organize a two-day workshop, hosted by UCI, titled “Fostering Climate Resilient Coastal Communities.” The workshop provided the opportunity for cross-learning and relationship-building among California coastal regions and science, policy, and management disciplines, all within the context of coastal climate change resilience. We identified and coordinated distinguished keynote speakers and more than 25 panelists in preparation for the workshop and facilitated Q&A sessions with panelists. More than 150 California coastal planners, managers, practitioners, and decision-makers attended the workshop. Blue Earth Consultants also developed and administered a follow-up survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the event and distill lessons learned and opportunities for future workshops.
Blue Earth Consultants supported the Gulf of California Marine Program (GOCMP) to develop an updated three‐year strategic business plan that outlines the program’s strategies, including reassessing and updating the vision and mission of the program, developing program goals, objectives, strategies, measures of success, and partnership strategies. In addition, we developed an operations plan that includes an updated organizational and partnership structure, administrative processes, staffing, governance, and facilities, and development of a funder database. We interviewed experts and key stakeholders to inform the strategy and presented findings from our research at an in-person meeting where we shared a straw proposal of the strategic business plan for GOCMP. Blue Earth Consultants revised and finalized the strategic business plan.
Blue Earth Consultants facilitated the development of a governance and operational partnership plan with elements including governance, management and staffing, communications, marketing, fundraising, data sharing, conflict resolution and cost sharing for the Global Sharks and Rays Initiative (GSRI), a multi-institutional program with the goal of reversing the decline of sharks, rays, and chimaeras over the next 10 years. We worked with the core partners to identify six case study partnerships on which to perform web research and phone interviews to learn about operational and partnership aspects, including successful approaches, challenges, and lessons learned. Blue Earth Consultants presented findings of the case study research to the group and worked with them to develop straw proposals, and ultimately a final partnership-based operational plan for the GSRI.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in developing an updated version of the Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which describes how the Marine Life Protection Program partners will manage California’s statewide network of MPAs established through the Marine Life Protection Act. The plan describes the purpose and approach for MPA network management, the design and siting process, MPA network management and adaptive management, partners and operations, and steps for setting an effective path forward for CDFW and its partners. Blue Earth Consultants revised and developed new text for the Master Plan, taking into account input from CDFW, the Ocean Protection Council, Fish and Game Commission, and Ocean Science Trust, as well as tribal and public input. Through the process, Blue Earth Consultants provided guidance and recommendations to CDFW on how to create a plan that lays a clear and understandable path for ongoing management of the statewide MPA network.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA CRCP) and its partners with planning and coordinating the annual Marine Outreach and Education Virgin Islands Style (MOES-VI): Improving Fishing Community Awareness and Compliance Project (IFCACP) fisher registration workshops. We developed a replicable monitoring protocol and survey that will be used by relevant staff from NOAA, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, and Environmental Enforcement to evaluate the effectiveness and short- and long-term impact of the annual workshops. The tools and monitoring protocol will also help NOAA and its partners make adjustments and refinements to the MOES-VI: IFCACP program and workshops in the following years. The final report and appendices shares the results of the evaluations provided by fishers, and recommendations for changes or improvements to the fisher registration process and explains the development and implementation of the evaluation methodology and tool.
Blue Earth Consultants performed a number of tasks to support the 2015 update of the 2005 California State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). First, Blue Earth Consultants performed an assessment and evaluation of the implementation of the 2005 SWAP. To support the evaluation, Blue Earth Consultants worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to create a robust and diverse steering committee, which provided input and support for the evaluation methodology and review of the draft evaluations. We then performed in-depth document review, led interviews with key experts throughout the state to evaluate the SWAP 2005 implementation, analyzed information using an evaluation framework, and synthesized findings into an evaluation report. Below is a link to the graphically designed, sharable document of past achievements, recommendations, and actions for influencing and improving the 2015 SWAP.
In addition, Blue Earth Consultants continued to support the SWAP update process by providing information and expertise for marine and intertidal target strategies, assisting in the development of the SWAP 2015 document sections, and supporting the public review process through facilitation. For the development of target-specific strategies, objectives, and conservation activities, Blue Earth Consultants completed an analysis of potential threats and vetted findings and draft recommendations with key experts from the CDFW. To develop sections of the SWAP 2015, Blue Earth Consultants performed background research and compiled information from key expert groups. Blue Earth Consultants developed materials to support facilitation of the public review process for the SWAP.
As a follow-up to interagency marine protected area (MPA) network implementation planning in California, Blue Earth Consultants facilitated the development of “The California Collaborative Approach: Marine Protected Areas Partnership Plan” (Partnership Plan) with the MPA Statewide Leadership Team, which is comprised of representatives from the California Ocean Protection Council, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Fish and Game Commission, California Natural Resource Agency, California Department of Parks and Recreation, and California Ocean Science Trust. The Partnership Plan establishes a framework for the collaborative management of California’s newly designated MPAs and guides interactions across jurisdictions, sectors, and scales. This framework allows the State to leverage the extensive resources already being brought to bear for the conservation and protection of these special areas, in turn creating sustainable and resilient marine ecosystems. The process involved developing agendas, meeting materials, and high-quality presentations for outreach to the public and tribes statewide; coordinating and collecting public and tribal comments on the Partnership Plan; facilitating integration of comments into the Partnership Plan with the MPA Statewide Leadership Team; and coordinating the development of a graphically designed public-facing executive summary of the Partnership Plan for the public.
For Oceana, Blue Earth Consultants performed an in-depth landscape analyses of multi-/bi-lateral development and relief agencies and organizations, private foundations, and current and projected investment in five countries (Mexico, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, and Vietnam). The landscape analyses focused on investments in fisheries sustainability and food security. Through web-based research, targeted interviews, and data analysis, Blue Earth Consultants developed five country-specific reports that shared country-specific findings, as well as an overarching PowerPoint webinar that shared findings from all five countries. Findings from Blue Earth Consultants’ research may be used to develop political campaigns within the five countries focused on improving fisheries sustainability to strengthen food security.
Blue Earth Consultants assessed Walton Family Foundation’s (WFF) marine protected area investments within the Gulf of California, the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and Bird’s Head Seascapes. Specifically, we assessed local, regional, and national marine conservation impacts in each of the three regions. We also identified future grant-making opportunities and alternative funding sources and identified lessons learned and conditions of success for WFF to consider when selecting a new seascape. In addition, we identified outcomes, challenges, lessons learned, and conditions of success across the three regions. Blue Earth Consultants conducted a thorough review of grantee reports, proposals, memos, and journal articles and interviewed nearly 50 key experts, over the phone, in-country, and in Spanish, to inform our assessment and recommendations. In addition to the report, Blue Earth Consultants developed a high-level PowerPoint presentation to share key findings and recommendations with WFF Board Members and key WFF leadership.
Blue Earth Consultants performed research to select case studies of effective partnership and governance structures between academic and nongovernmental organizations. This research informed operational planning for a partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Sustainable Fisheries Group, an affiliate of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara (the Partnership). Blue Earth Consultants conducted web-based research, reviewed grey literature, and performed semi-structured interviews with key case study informants. As a second phase of the project, Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with TNC staff, Partnership staff, and other partners to develop organizational structure recommendations for the TNC California Coastal and Marine Program as well as the Partnership. Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a two-day planning meeting with key leadership and staff from the California Coastal and Marine Program and the Partnership and a half-day strategic meeting with staff and leadership of the California Coastal and Marine Program. We then incorporated insights from these meetings into an operational plan for the TNC California Coastal and Marine Program.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted a rapid assessment of existing fellowship and short course programs focused on training and capacity-building in three categories: small-scale fisheries or protected area management, environment, and non-environment. The assessment provided an overview of the landscape of these types of programs and highlighted key high-level trends, and program design insights and recommended key questions and next steps for the Foundation to consider for moving forward on the design and development of a fellowship or short course program. In collaboration with Foundation staff, Blue Earth Consultants selected four programs on which to perform deep-dive research. We interviewed individuals from the selected programs to draw out lessons learned and best practices regarding their specific fellowship and short-course programs.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) with supporting strategic planning for the Conservation and Science Division (the Division) as it considered merging efforts on policy, sustainable seafood, and conservation research into one unified team. We identified and mapped the political and scientific landscape of key ocean policy opportunities that the MBA Policy Program could pursue, facilitated the development of a strategic plan that integrated the three programs of the Division, developed an operational strategy for the Division, and identified ways to leverage opportunities both within the Division, across MBA, and its core partners.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) by conducting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis specifically focused on identifying international donors. In addition, we performed research to identify international private and corporate foundations and bi-/multi- lateral donors that have alignment with EFJ’s priorities. In addition, we facilitated a one-day working session in Jamaica where we presented priority donors, results of the SWOT assessment, and an action plan that outlines donor-specific steps for EFJ to attract international funding. The final deliverable was a report that outlined international fundraising recommendations, an action plan, targets, and next steps for EFJ to consider.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted École Bilingue de Berkeley (EB), an independent K-8 bilingual school in the East Bay, with its campus capital campaign priorities. We developed a donor database of private and corporate foundation prospects aligned with EB’s campaign focus including topics such as education, health and the environment, global citizens, green living, and sustainability. Blue Earth Consultants created a memo based upon the donor database, which highlighted top donors, alignment, and cultivation strategies for engagement. As a follow up to the memo and donor database, we developed a graphically designed corporate capital campaign packet for EB to present to build engagement with prioritized corporate donors.
Blue Earth Consultants provided technical assistance to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Marine Reserve Program, specifically by assisting ODFW with the development of a marketing and communications strategy implementation plan, and building partnerships to support marine reserve communications. Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a meeting to help strengthen collaboration between ODFW and other partners on marine reserve communications throughout Oregon.
Blue Earth Consultants assembled a world-class team of seasoned marine protected area professionals to develop a regional marine protected area monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan for five Eastern Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent) with support from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The World Bank. The team performed an initial review and assessment of existing M&E projects, protocols, and indicators including performing literature reviews and interviews to gather background information from each country. The team facilitated two rounds of consultations with each country to garner feedback on background research, preliminary findings, draft recommendations, and the draft regional M&E plan. The team then worked with TNC to organize, develop, and facilitate an Eco-regional Workshop, where Blue Earth Consultants sought to foster buy-in and agreement on a set of key indicators to include in the final regional M&E plan. The team revised the plan based on the Eco-regional Workshop feedback and shared the final regional M&E plan with regional experts and stakeholders.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) with assessing the viability and informing the design of a new coastal sustainability degree program. To do so, Blue Earth Consultants helped faculty define coastal sustainability and identify themes and issues that the degree program could address. Blue Earth Consultants performed assessments of the job market, degree program competitive landscape, and program needs to inform design recommendations. For the assessments, Blue Earth Consultants performed web-based research and conducted interviews with a range of informants. In a memo, Blue Earth Consultants shared findings and recommendations for how to best design and develop a new degree program based on an understanding of the job market, the competitive landscape of similar degree programs, and UCSC’s teaching and training needs, gaps, and opportunities.
Blue Earth Consultants supported Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Mexico Program by conducting an assessment to understand their current strengths and weaknesses and identify future opportunities and challenges that they may face in their work to advance rights-based fisheries management within the Gulf of California. We interviewed regional experts, partners, and funders to perform this assessment as well as answering key questions to inform their future strategic direction. We then analyzed and synthesized this information and presented recommendations to EDF staff.
As the implementing partner of Coastal Quest, a Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation grantee, Blue Earth Consultants produced a glossy version of the executive summary of the 2010 study, Ocean Conservation Strategic Funding Initiatives: A Study of Successes and Lessons Learned conducted for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The executive summary examined 20 large-scale ocean conservation strategic funding initiatives from the government and foundation sectors to distill successes and failures, investment gaps and opportunities, and lessons to help avoid common pitfalls in achieving sustainable ocean conservation and management. It seeks to provoke more thoughtful, long-term initiatives and grant-making in ocean and coastal conservation.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted in the development of blog stories for the UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s Marine Manager’s website, which highlights current and emerging issues related to best practices for marine protected area management. Blog stories focused on topics such as monitoring and evaluation, funding and financing, and climate change impacts. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants performed web-based research to identify, collect, and collate latest news, updates, and information on marine protected area conferences, webinars, and announcements to be shared through the website.
Blue Earth Consultants researched private and corporate foundation prospects aligned with Center for Ocean Solutions’ (COS) mission, goals, strategies, and regional priorities. Blue Earth Consultants created an extensive funder database and produced a memo, which highlighted top potential funders to target for cultivation. The memo and database will act as a guide to help COS in developing more diversified funding opportunities.
Blue Earth Consultants assessed key elements for effective marine reserve implementation, executed a landscape analysis and needs assessment for marine protected area management and governance entities, and investigated and identified ripe opportunities to strengthen implementation of the marine reserve system in Oregon.
Blue Earth Consultants provided logistical and planning support to the California Ocean Science Trust as they co-hosted the State of the California Central Coast Symposium, which brought together scientists, government staff, and stakeholders as part of the five-year anniversary of the marine protected area network within the Central Coast Region. Blue Earth Consultants supported the development of a detailed process agenda, organized and coordinated collateral, and developed summary notes for the symposium’s panel sessions.
Blue Earth Consultants worked with faculty and leadership to support strategic planning efforts for the newly created Georgetown Environment Initiative.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the University of Miami and its partners, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and The Ocean Fund, by performing a situational analysis to assess the validity of the business model and value proposition that OceanScope has to offer. Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews with leaders from the commercial shipping and cruise industries who could serve as critical partners of the OceanScope effort. Blue Earth Consultants compiled findings from our research to inform the development of a strategic business plan and to provide recommendations to scale up the program and increase impact of OceanScope in the future.
Blue Earth supported our strategic partner, Coastal Quest, on a project supported financially by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Henry Foundation with in-kind support from Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, Ti Kaye Resort and Spa, and the Soufriere Community Access Centre, to develop a sustainable financing business plan for the Soufriere Marine Management Association (SMMA Inc.) in St. Lucia. The SMMA Inc. is a self-sustained not-for-profit NGO authorized by the government of St. Lucia to manage both the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) and the Canaries and Anse La Raye Marine Management Area (CAMMA). The SMMA Inc. is in need of a long-term sustainable funding and financing strategy to finance its operating activities and capitalize on missed opportunities to protect the important ecosystems located within the SMMA and CAMMA. This project will work with SMMA Inc. staff to develop a five year sustainable financing plan to support the SMMA Inc.’s management of the SMMA and the CAMMA, and will also work to increase SMMA Inc.’s staff capacity in regard to sustainable financing. Wherever possible, this project will reach out to other MPAs in St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean in order to increase sustainable financing capacity throughout the region.
Blue Earth Consultants was hired by The Bay Institute Aquarium Foundation (TBIAF) to facilitate a strategic planning process, create a strategic plan, and to help TBIAF reflect upon and clarify organizational needs, challenges, methods for overcoming challenges, and assets. Blue Earth also worked with TBI/AOTB to assess the combined strengths and weaknesses of the two entities, which merged in 2009. The intention was to develop a unified vision for the future and matching organizational and governance structures that will lead to fundamental, positive changes in how the integrated organization (or perhaps still separate but unified organizations) operates and builds team collaboration to achieve TBIAF’s vision. Blue Earth Consultants conducted phone interviews and administered an online survey with key individuals, facilitate focus groups, and facilitated a Board retreat to produce a strategic plan for TBIAF.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted POORT with the development of a three-year strategic business plan. We performed interviews and other research to perform a high-level strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and identify future opportunities and challenges. We facilitated a strategic visioning process to help POORT develop a future vision and mission and identify existing strengths and opportunities. In addition, the plan provided recommendations for POORT’s organizational and operational structure, share measures of success, identify communication, marketing, and branding priorities, and develop a fundraising strategy that outlines potential revenue sources in the future.
Blue Earth Consultants was engaged by Audubon California to conduct preliminary research to inform and assist with the facilitation of the Pacific Flyway strategic planning process. As part of this project Blue Earth Consultants conducted phone interviews with and administered an online survey to key national and regional Audubon staff, partners, funders, and other important stakeholders in the Pacific Flyway states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Through the interviews and online survey, Blue Earth Consultants identified a short list of priority projects for Audubon to consider to replicate and expand throughout the Flyway, as well as worked with Audubon to refine filters and thresholds with which to prioritize projects. The results of this research was presented and vetted at an Audubon Flyway Workshop. In addition, to sharing key findings, Blue Earth Consultants took summary notes of the entire two-day workshop.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted a coalition of conservation organizations with the development of products analyzing and describing the conservation benefits of regional land use planning and of the draft supplemental chapter for the Sustainable Community Strategy for the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.
Blue Earth Consultants performed data collection and analysis to better understand the barriers to uptake and opportunities for improving scientific assessment methods for data-poor fisheries. We facilitated a 1.5 day strategic planning meeting with key Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) staff, leadership, and partners to present findings and align the approach for moving forward. Blue Earth Consultants will then produce a 3-year strategy for the EDF’s Ocean Program to advance sustainable fisheries management globally using data-poor scientific assessment methods as a tool.
Blue Earth Consultants developed a series of outreach products to inform key decision-makers and to foster discussions around opportunities for strengthening implementation of California’s marine protected area network. Professionally designed products included two PowerPoint presentations and one brochure summarizing findings from an assessment of key elements and innovative case studies to apply lessons learned to California’s marine protected area network. Blue Earth then conducted webinars and presentations to share findings with key target audiences working on MPA implementation.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted research on cases of successful marine protected area network and large marine protected area implementation. Our research was informed by examining scientific and grey literature, interviews with key experts and marine protected area managers. We performed an analysis to inform a needs and opportunities assessment for ensuring effective implementation of California’s marine protected area network. We then prepared a report for Resources Legacy Fund Foundation’s Oceans, Coasts, and Fisheries Program identifying the five key elements for successful MPA implementation, the status of these elements within California, methods for strengthening the elements, and opportunities to apply lessons learned from innovative case studies to the California context.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted OneReef with the development of a high-level strategic vision and production of marketing collateral presenting OneReef, its achievements to date, and its organizational vision for the future. Blue Earth Consultants performed interviews and facilitated a 1-day visioning session to clarify and define the organization’s vision, mission, theory of change, and governance structure for the next five years. We then produced a professional and compelling brochure, which will help facilitate conversations with OneReef’s current and prospective donors.
As the implementing partner of Coastal Quest, a Moore Foundation grantee, Blue Earth Consultants produced a meta-analysis on the banking sector’s approach to identifying, considering, and mitigating their financing activities’ impacts on natural resources and ecosystems and the extent to which they proactively finance projects with positive impacts on natural resources and ecosystems. The report identified leading banks and their best practices, as well as existing and emerging trends across three bank types: commercial/state-owned, investment, and multilateral/bilateral. In addition, the report identified barriers and challenges, lessons learned, opportunities, and incentives and levers for encouraging greater uptake and consideration of natural resources and ecosystems in banks’ financing activities. Blue Earth Consultants conducted web-based research, literature review, and semi-structured interviews to inform its meta-analysis report, develop a bank inventory of 61 banks, and share snapshots of 15 innovative examples of banks’ identification, consideration, and mitigation of natural resources and ecosystem impacts.
Blue Earth Consultants provided facilitation and coordination services for NOAA Fisheries Service’s 2-day workshop “Science Foundations for Ocean Planning in Hawaii: Human Use and Habitat Characterization” held in Honolulu, Hawaii. The workshop focused on addressing human uses and habitat data, data availability, and spatial management of ocean resources to begin determining what science and geospatial data are needed for applying coastal and marine spatial planning in Hawaii. Blue Earth Consultants coordinated facilitators from multiple agencies as well as provided three technical facilitators. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants provided note taking templates for breakout and plenary sessions and provided synthesized meeting notes from plenary sessions.
Blue Earth Consultants created a strategic plan encompassing 2014-2016 for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Hawaii Chapter. Using an outline and outcomes prepared by TNC and upon reviewing internal documents, Blue Earth Consultants produced a draft strategic plan for TNC’s Hawaii Chapter.
Blue Earth Consultants performed a rapid market assessment and sizing for Ecotrust’s Marine Consulting Initiative (MCI). This project identified the size of the market, potential opportunities for MCI to consider in the next 3-18 months, and shared key considerations for each region.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted research for Oceana to map out the current status of fisheries governance and policy for two countries. Within this research we examined the top ten fisheries, governance frameworks and policies relevant to fisheries, stakeholder landscape and interactions, and how stakeholders participate in and work to change policy. This information identified opportunities and risks and determined the feasibility of working within these two countries. Blue Earth Consultants conducted a funder assessment for these and one additional country. Our findings were summarized in two full reports and a brief memo, as well as a funder database.
Blue Earth Consultants worked with UNESCO to secure a VIP speaker for an awareness event. The purpose of the event was to share more about the World Heritage Marine Programme’s activities around the world and to encourage high profile individuals from government and business sector to become active in marine conservation.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted a needs assessment across audiences within The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to identify key challenges and barriers encountered in partnerships, as well as identified internal and external opportunities to improve partnerships. Blue Earth Consultants used this information to make recommendations to TNC on how the Partnership Initiative Team could support and assist TNC field staff to facilitate more effective partnerships and be more successful with untraditional alliances. Results from the assessment and analysis informed development of a robust plan to meet key partnership needs within the organization.
Blue Earth Consultants performed a market and competitive landscape assessment for Ecotrust’s Marine Consulting Initiative (MCI). This report identified potential opportunities for MCI to consider moving forward and helped inform its strategic planning process.
Blue Earth Consultants provided support to California Ocean Science Trust to assist with a variety of operational and programmatic needs. This included providing strategic advice; drafting documents, workplans, reports and outreach materials; researching and identifying funding opportunities and strategies; overseeing peer review processes; and responding to other ad hoc tasks to help support the organization’s work.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted the West Coast Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Network in an organizational effectiveness assessment and developed a three-year strategic plan. Blue Earth Consultants performed document review and conducted interviews to perform a high-level strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. We analyzed data, presented recommendations, and developed a strategic plan including a revised organizational structure and identification of potential funding and revenue model moving forward.
As the implementing partner of Coastal Quest, a Moore Foundation grantee, Blue Earth Consultants produced a seven-session ecosystem services seminar series “Ecosystem Services: From Theory to Policy to Action,” targeting the foundation community. The seminars sought to advance ecosystem services literacy among donors to promote coordinated conservation grant-making in this area. In addition to arranging for world-class experts as speakers, we complemented the seminars with support materials (syllabus, supplemental reading), a real-time evaluation process for continuous improvement over the course of the series, and a report analyzing terrestrial, coastal, and ocean ecosystem services investment opportunities. Blue Earth Consultants coordinated the development of a professionally designed multimedia outreach package to present the documents produced for the seminar series.
Blue Earth Consultants facilitated a marine conservation charrette for an anonymous foundation focused on identifying ocean health and climate change information tools. The aim of the charrette was to conceive a short-term (2-5 year) project to impact ocean health with the possibility of growing, scaling up, and/or institutionalizing this work if the long-term potential to do so were to exist. Blue Earth Consultants advised on the creation of the participant list, prepared pre-conference materials, facilitation plan, and an agenda for the charrette. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants synthesized the meeting notes into a concise document with an executive summary, compilation of notes, and project snapshots.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted interviews, research, and analysis to define strategic grant-making opportunities for developing and advancing marine protected areas and identify other effective and “out of the box” solutions/tools to achieve significant and measurable results in marine conservation. We prepared a white paper and PowerPoint describing the landscape of two select regions prime for investment and identified ripe opportunities for the Foundation to consider globally.
Blue Earth Consultants created strategic and fundraising plans for Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) 10-year project focusing on restoring populations of threatened and target marine species and advancing legal protection of critical habitats within the coastal and ocean waters of the New York tri-state area through the advancement of science integration, education and outreach, and policy and legislation. Blue Earth Consultants also developed outreach materials to be shared with potential funders.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted an assessment of the Sonoran Institute’s Upper Gulf of California Legacy Program to identify progress towards stated outcomes, factors of success, challenges and constraints, and lessons learned. Our evaluation also assessed Sonoran Institute’s engagement with other civil society organizations and government agencies, as well as their overall strategic impact. Blue Earth started this project with a 3-day site visit to the project sites in the Colorado River Delta. We returned to the region to conduct interviews with partners, government staff, and stakeholders, many of which were held in Spanish. After collecting data for the evaluation, we developed a summary report with recommendations for how to strengthen the program.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted Coastal Quest and Sociedad de Historia Natural de Niparajá (Niparajá) in conducting a high-level strategic planning exercise for the Marine Conservation Program. Blue Earth Consultants guided them in developing planning tools including a theory of change and logic model. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants traveled to Mexico to conduct a two-day strategic planning session with Niparajá staff, board members, and key partners. The goal of the meeting was to gain input from key organizational stakeholders and to help Niparajá come to decisions regarding their vision, mission, goal, activities, measures of success, and operational elements.
Blue Earth Consultants assisted PANGAS with the development of a three-year strategic plan. We performed interviews and other research to perform a high-level strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and comparative assessment. We facilitated a strategic visioning process to help PANGAS develop a future vision and mission, identify existing strengths and opportunities, provide recommendations for its organizational and operational structure, and present potential funding options for the consortium to consider moving forward.
Blue Earth Consultants coordinated and facilitated a two-day workshop, sponsored by the World Bank, to gain insights from leaders in the business and financial sectors on innovative financing options and viable tools, as well as developed a framework to evaluate innovative options for encouraging private investments into coastal and marine ecosystems. The outcomes are informing a feasibility assessment for a new ocean fund that would invest in comprehensive market-based solutions to rebuild and sustain ocean and coastal ecosystem services and communities while providing triple bottom line returns to investors.
Blue Earth Consultants, conducted “real-time” monitoring and evaluation of Ecotrust and Island Institute’s implementation of the national Community Fisheries Network. At three strategic points, Blue Earth Consultants prepared and conducted surveys garnering feedback from participants and the implementation team to assess the Network’s implementation effectiveness and ability to achieve stated objectives and outcomes. Blue Earth Consultants shared recommendations to improve performance and ensure accountability.
Blue Earth Consultants developed a report presenting a definition and set of criteria and metrics for a sustainable community fisheries standard that could be implemented by communities. Blue Earth Consultants used web-based research, literature review, and interviews with fishers, sustainable seafood users and distributors, nongovernmental organizations, funders, and academics to define the term “sustainable” in the context of community fisheries and to identify global sustainable fisheries criteria and standards. The report evaluated seven established certifications and standards from around the globe and drew on the best practices of these standards. The report includes a suite of proposed criteria and metrics geared toward supporting local fishers and communities and is intended to serve as a resource for the Community Fisheries Network.
Blue Earth Consultants was a subcontractor to Eastern Research Group (ERG) to facilitate the one-day San Francisco Bay regional public listening session for the National Ocean Policy. Our team was responsible for orchestrating the public comment breakout sessions, including providing an overview of the Strategic Action Plans (SAP) and breakout session procedures, organizing public comment speakers, ensuring time guidelines for comment were maintained, coordinating with note-takers, and moderating questions from participants.
Blue Earth Consultants developed a background document that analyzes the institutional, policy, scientific, and technical context for taking action on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) in California.
As a second part of this project, Blue Earth Consultants facilitated two focus groups seeking input to inform recommendations for the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to consider moving forward and coordinated feedback from key agency staff, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, and stakeholders. Blue Earth Consultants then prepared recommendations for the OPC Action Plan that outlined possible goals, objectives, tasks, strategies, and roles for OPC to advance changes in policy, management, and/or institutional operations and address data gaps and research needs related to CMSP in the state. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants identified strategies for prioritizing and tracking actions, as well as potential funding and partnerships opportunities.
Blue Earth Consultants evaluated and shared lessons-learned from exemplary model institutional designs for integration and use of geospatial data in state decision-making. Information provided by Blue Earth Consultants will help inform the California Ocean Protection Council as it considers how it could support the development of a coastal and marine geospatial data information management system and related tools to support state decision-making. In addition, Blue Earth Consultants developed a set of evaluation criteria, best practices, and important features to consider for developing and implementing an effective coastal and marine information management system.
Blue Earth Consultants conducted a mid-term independent assessment of the Oak Foundation Mesoamerican Reef Program. This assessment included reviewing grant-making and progress of 49 grantees toward the Foundation’s goals. We conducted an online survey, and performed site visits and in-person interviews. Blue Earth Consultants generated a report that provided an overview of progress and made recommendations on how to improve grant-making performance moving forward.