SWBG: Conservation Fund Grant

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $100,000

Next anticipated deadline: Nov 30, 2018

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 30, 2019

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The Conservation Fund’s mission: To work with purpose and passion on behalf of wildlife and habitats worldwide, encouraging sustainable solutions through support of species research, animal rescue and rehabilitation and conservation education.

Launched in 2003, the Fund was created with dual purpose:

  • Provide guests with an easy, direct way to get involved and make a difference for wildlife
  • Strengthen and expand the parks' existing conservation efforts

The Fund works with organizations, individuals and experts in the U.S. and around the world to identify the most pressing challenges facing wildlife. The Fund then awards grants to projects focused on protecting wildlife, people and places in ways that are sustainable and long-term. In collaboration with the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove parks, the Fund also works to increase global awareness of wildlife and inspire everyday actions that can help animals survive and thrive.

The Fund has 4 major areas of focus:

  • species research
  • habitat protection
  • conservation education
  • animal rescue and rehabilitation.

Each year the Fund has specific conservation priorities it supports:

  • Species Research: Marine Fish Sustainability
  • Research that contributes to the ability to create sustainable populations of marine fishes through aquaculture, with great emphasis on the most popular marine fishes in home hobbyist and commercial aquariums. Research can focus on fish lifecycles, nutrition, reproduction and aquaculture techniques.

  • Species Research: African Mammals
  • Research focused on physiology, disease/mortality, longevity, distribution and other measures of population health in African mammals. Research that increases knowledge of reproductive cycle and process of African mammals, artificial insemination, or establishes recommendations on process of reintroduction of captive bred mammals into the wild.

  • Species Research: Marine Mammals
  • Research on the ecology, behavior, distribution, reproduction, physiology and population health of marine mammals.

  • Species Research: Penguins and Alcids
  • Research on the conservation, behavior, distribution, reproduction, longevity, mortality, physiology and population health of penguins and alcids. Research also can include diet studies, disease detection, prevention and treatment, and testing of new data collection technologies.

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Wildlife Trade
  • Programs designed to reduce wildlife trafficking and enforce wildlife trade laws, with specific emphasis on programs reducing illegal trade of endangered species products. Particular interest in programs focused on reducing trafficking of rhinoceros, shark, parrot, pangolin, elephant or big cat products.

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Elephants
  • Programs designed to protect, rescue or rehabilitate African or Asian elephants.

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Sea Turtles
  • Programs designed to protect, rescue or rehabilitate North, Central or South American sea turtles (including nest protection).

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Penguins
  • Programs designed to protect, rescue or rehabilitate Antarctic penguins.

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Rhinoceros
  • Programs designed to protect, rescue or rehabilitate African rhinoceros.

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Wolves
  • Programs designed to protect, rescue or rehabilitate North American wolves.

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Anti Poaching
  • Efforts to reduce poaching of endangered and threatened species

  • Animal Rescue/Rehab: Native Wildlife Near SEA Parks
  • Native wildlife rescue programs located in Florida, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, or Virginia. Proposals that focus on prevention education, operational sustainability, supplies and dietary needs are most successful.

  • Conservation Education: Nature Deficit Disorder
  • Programs designed to encourage youth to spend more time outdoors connecting with nature. This includes education programs for youth who live in biodiverse range countries to understand the value of nature and the mechanisms for sustainability.

  • Conservation Education: Leadership Development
  • Programs designed to identify potential conservation leaders and develop their leadership skills and knowledge base. Specifically, these programs can target young adults and offer peer connections within the conservation community to further develop the next generation of conservation leaders.

  • Conservation Education: Alternative Income
  • Programs designed to retrain or develop viable alternative employment opportunities for people and communities reliant upon economic opportunities that directly impact wildlife and habitat. Programs can include training and support to provide alternatives to poaching, livestock farming, or logging.

  • Habitat Protection: Coral Reef
  • Support for the creation, restoration and maintenance of marine protected areas along coral reefs located in North, Central and South America. Successful proposals can include research necessary to implement marine protected areas, populations studies of reef species, and restoration efforts to reverse the impacts of man-made and natural impacts to the reef.

  • Habitat Protection: Marine/Aquatic Debris
  • Efforts to remove marine and aquatic debris from waterways, estuaries, coasts and underwater. Includes efforts to identify sources of pollution and physically remove debris.

  • Habitat Protection: Habitat Restoration
  • Projects providing important large scale habitat enhancements such as corridor mapping, and creation and protection of habitat for endangered species limited by range restrictions are considered.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The project must perfectly align with one of the Conservation Fund’s priorities listed under ‘Overview’.
  • The fund supports projects around the world.
  • The Fund accepts online applications from 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations based in the U.S., non-U.S. based non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations, governmental entities, accredited universities and research centers, and AZA- or AMMPA-accredited institutions.
  • The fund does not financially support student work--while the Fund acknowledges that university/college students working on projects as part of a degree (e.g., thesis research) contribute significantly to baseline data, grantmaking preference is given to projects using applied research toward specific wildlife conservation outcomes/goals.


  • Preference is given to projects using applied research toward specific wildlife conservation outcomes/goals.