The core team behind 50 Reefs (The Ocean Agency together with The University of Queensland) has a proven track record of creating science-based, creative, and technology-driven ideas to tackle the ocean's greatest challenges.
Together they have recorded and revealed more of the world's coral reefs than any other diving team, and were the only team to respond to the 3rd Global Coral Bleaching Event as it tracked around the world - the worst coral die-off ever recorded.
The Ocean Agency is a not-for-profit founded in 2010. It is dedicated to achieving ocean conservation through technology innovation, creative communication, and global partnerships. Its first major project was the XL Catlin Seaview Survey (also a partnership with the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland), which has become the most comprehensive global survey of coral reefs ever conducted, revolutionizing the speed, efficiency and cost of coral reef monitoring at scale. This is the project behind all the underwater imagery in Google Street View. The Ocean Agency is the only team to have ever travelled around the world to record and reveal a global bleaching event (the imagery taken with their specially developed cameras has appeared in virtually every major news publication.) This work is the subject of Jeff Orlowski and Exposure Labs' latest documentary, Chasing Coral.
The Global Change Institute (GCI) at The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia was established in 2010 as an independent source of game-changing research, ideas and advice for addressing the challenges of global change. GCI advances discovery, develops solutions and advocates responses that meet the challenges presented by climate change, technological innovation and population change. They have partnered with The Ocean Agency on a number of projects including the XL Catlin Seaview Survey which established the world's first global baseline for coral reef health in 22 countries using semi-autonomous technologies and computer learning. UQ is one of the world's premier teaching and research institutions. It is consistently ranked in the top 100 in four independent global rankings. With more than 48,000 students and 6,500 staff, UQ's teaching is informed by research, and spans six faculties and eight research institutes.
The Wildlife Conservation Society is also a key partner on the 50 Reefs initiative. Over the past century, the WCS has established long-term conservation presence in the last wild places across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, built strong and trusting partnerships, and acquired a depth of knowledge that ensures effective conservation action. WCS protects these last wild places because they are intact, biodiverse, most resilient to climate change, and bastions for large, iconic wildlife species.