Who We Are
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is a non-profit environmental science organization and ocean research foundation established to help preserve, protect and restore the world’s oceans and aquatic resources through research, education, and outreach. Our mission is to protect and restore ocean health by providing science-based solutions. We want to make ocean conservation a high priority and hope that our work empowers people to keep ocean resources healthy and sustainable.
The Foundation was established in 2000 by His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Sultan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since then, the Foundation has organized many large-scale scientific surveys including the Global Reef Expedition, the world’s largest coral reef survey and high-resolution habitat mapping expedition.
What We Do
For the past twenty years, the Foundation has used its three-pronged approach of science, outreach, and education to conserve vulnerable coral reef systems. Success in these three pillars of our work has helped the Foundation become a global player in marine conservation.
Expertise in Coral Reef Ecosystems
The Foundation conducts coral reef ecosystem research in remote locations around the world. The Foundation works with local scientists to map coral reef habitats, conduct scientific surveys, and assess coral reef resilience. The resulting scientific findings and maps are shared with participating countries and are used to develop sound environmental management strategies for coral reefs.
Teaching the Next Generation of Ocean Advocates
In order to advance ocean literacy and the conservation and restoration of our living oceans, the Foundation provides educational opportunities for students around the world. The Foundation conducts workshops and seminars, develops coral reef educational materials for students and teachers, and runs programs to inspire, educate, and engage students in ocean conservation.
Inspiring Conservation Action
A key component of the Foundation’s conservation program is media relations and outreach. The Foundation communicates our scientific findings to government officials, stakeholders, and decision-makers so they can understand the value of their marine resources and what they can do to protect them. The Foundation also creates films and publishes articles to illustrate the complexity of life underwater, convey ocean conservation messages, and inspire others to care about the ocean.
Science without Borders® is the overarching theme of the Living Oceans Foundation. The synergy created through this approach is imperative for making significant impacts in the restoration of ocean health. Through partnerships with scientific institutions and conservation organizations around the world, the Foundation is able to leverage the resources, commitment, and ideas necessary to make substantial progress to protect and preserve coral reefs and other aquatic ecosystems around the world.
Global Reef Expedition
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation recently completed the The Global Reef Expedition—the world’s largest coral reef study in the history of mankind. Over the course of ten years, the Expedition circumnavigated the globe surveying and mapping some of the most remote coral reefs on the planet. The Global Reef Expedition was completed in 2022 and our findings were summarized in the Global Reef Expedition Final Report, as well as reports on the state of the reefs by country. Although the research mission is complete, we continue to dive deeper into our data and publish our findings. You can read our recent scientific publications and more papers will be added as they are published.
The primary scientific goals of the Global Reef Expedition are to map and characterize coral reef ecosystems, identify their current status and major threats, and examine factors that enhance their ability to resist, survive and recover from major disturbance events like bleaching, cyclone damage or crown-of-thorns outbreaks. The scientific results are shared freely with participating countries as well as scientific and regulatory organizations. They can be used by countries to develop management strategies to protect and restore their coral reef ecosystems. Now that the Global Reef Expedition is complete, we are using the data and knowledge we gained to help communities in small island nations manage their coastal marine resources through our Science Without Borders®: Conserving the Tropics program.