Blue Ocean Society

Discount – Receive FREE admission to the Blue Ocean Discovery Center! Also save 10% on all items in Blue Ocean Society's online store! (Just follow the link below, click on "store," and enter the promo code GA10)

Dollar Discount – Save $1 on admission every time you visit the Discovery Center! And save $1.80 on hats and shirts or $3 on a whale adoption at their online store!

143 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth


Green Story

Frustrated by the disconnect between ocean research on the one hand and resulting public action on the other, Jen Kennedy and Dianna Schulte founded Blue Ocean Society in 1996, incorporating the organization six years later. Thanks to a bevy of engaging and educational outreach programs, the organization has since become an indispensible resource for researchers, environmental advocates, and citizens of all ages. Their main area of focus has been the Gulf of Maine, and in particular Jeffreys Ledge, an area located about 20 miles off the New Hampshire coast that supports a wealth of marine life. By studying native whales and other species, the team helps the public better understand how increasing whale populations ultimately means a healthier ocean, and a better environment for everyone.

From the beach’s pristine sands, it’s easy to see the ocean as a vast, deep, and invincible wonder – nothing that big could possibly be harmed by the hands of man alone. The folks at Blue Ocean Society take a different view: That things like trash, plastic, and “ghost fishing gear,” and other manmade refuse have a much bigger impact than we can possibly imagine. To that end, in 2001 the organization launched a program designed to engage community members in helping do their part to keep the region’s beaches clean. The results have been nothing short of spectacular: In 2012 alone, Blue Ocean Society headed 219 beach cleanups – all in an area extending from York, Maine to Salisbury, Massachusetts – in the process collecting 12,477 pounds of trash.

While Kennedy and Schulte still collect data on a regular basis, the organization’s emphasis is on using that data in real time to give people the full, transparent picture of the health and prospects of their collective backyard. From lesson plans to whale watches, ocean protection campaigns to their much beloved touch tanks, Blue Ocean Society is driven by the desire to turn hard science into a call to action and engagement.

The goal of Blue Ocean Society is simple: By inspiring more people to learn about the Seacoast’s unique marine environment, the better prepared we’ll all be to meet the ecological challenges of tomorrow and – most important of all – protect its bountiful blue treasures for generations to come.

Check out Blue Ocean Society on Facebook!


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Report Card Score

What makes us green?

  • Have spearheaded hundreds of beach cleanups throughout the Seacoast region.
  • Education and outreach programs encourage better environmental stewardship.
  • Research used to better protect marine life and their habitat.
  • Marine Debris to Energy Project has resulted in the removal and safe disposal of over 100 tons of derelict fishing gear since 2008.
  • Have over 20 groups (businesses, schools, Scout troops and individuals) committed to monthly beach cleanups at 20 sites through their Adopt-a-Beach program.


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