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Algalita Marine Research and Education

 148 N Marina Drive
 Long Beach, CA 90803
[P] (562) 5984889
[F] (562) 5980712
[email protected]
Katie Allen
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names Algalita Marine Research Institute (2013)
Algalita Marine Foundation (2006)
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 33-0357882 --


Mission StatementMORE »

Algalita Marine Research and Education is dedicated to leading the world to a plastic pollution free future.

Mission Statement

Algalita Marine Research and Education is dedicated to leading the world to a plastic pollution free future.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Expenses $517,560.00
Projected Revenue $520,206.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions (POPS) Education and Leadership Program
  • Ship2Shore Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Algalita Marine Research and Education is dedicated to leading the world to a plastic pollution free future.

Background Statement

Algalita Marine Research and Education was originally founded in 1994 with a vision to restore the disappearing giant kelp forests and improve water quality through the preservation and re-construction of wetlands along the California coast. However, in 1997, as the result of founder Captain Charles Moore's voyage from Hawaii to California through the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the focus of the organization changed to confront the issue of plastic marine pollution. The area that Captain Moore called attention to, now commonly referred to as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," is an immense section of the northeastern Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and California, that’s strewn throughout with buoyant plastic scraps that are often mistaken by marine animals and seabirds for food. This plastic soup is seasoned with plastic flakes, bulked out here and there with “dumplings”: buoys, large abandoned fishing nets (ghost nets), bottle caps, toothbrushes, containers, and crates. Today, Algalita is dedicated to the protection and improvement of the marine environment and its watersheds through education and research on the impact of plastic pollution. Our work has a positive impact on the following areas: we (1) conduct scientific exploration and provide research results to the scientific community and the general public; (2) increase awareness and promote advocacy of the issue and its effects on human health; (3) embrace collaboration with other like-minded organizations; (4) engage our youth in science-based, interactive educational programs; and (5) work to increase environmental stewardship. Algalita teaches and empowers people to understand the devastating impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and human health, and how they can help to solve this crisis.

Impact Statement

Top 3 accomplishments from the past year:

1. Conducted 96 STEM workshops for 63 teachers and their students; Hosted 9 personal development workshops for over 290 educators; Distributed over 250 plastic pollution teaching kits to Southern CA teachers;
2. Finished the final manuscript on our 15-year North Pacific Gyre retrospective study; and
3. Embarked on an expedition to the South Pacific to investigate plastic pollution near Chile as well as off the coast of Easter Island. Our team is working to determine how plastic is threatening the survival of Lantern Fish, a fish that occupies a vital role in the marine food web structure.

Goals moving forward:
1. Continue to provide free educational services to thousands of teachers and students through teaching kits, classroom resources, field research opportunities, and leadership workshops.
2. Open a plastic-free retail shop and community center in Long Beach, CA that gives locals an opportunity to be a part of the solution.
3. Investigate how plastic in the ocean threatens the survival of fish critical to the food chain during our expedition to the South Pacific.


Needs Statement

1. General funding for Operations $150,000
2. Funding for Research program $100,000
3. Funding for Education program (particularly our Youth Summit) $50,000
4. Develop even more partnerships within the communities we work in
5. Part-time marketing intern/volunteer  

CEO Statement

Algalita was at the forefront in learning about and reporting the plastic ocean pollution crisis. Our founder, Captain Charles Moore, continued to ring the bell concerning this issue, even when he was hitting walls and fighting indifference. Because of our organization's work, numerous other nonprofit organizations have developed over the last 10 years.

We still conduct research (in the North Pacific, as well as in local waterways and coastlines in the Southern California region). We are different than the typical research organization, because we are not part of a university and we are small; but, our work is so important to this issue. We partner with various other researchers, to expand our scope. What is so important about our research is we take that information and educate our youth, throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties, as well as the general public. The more people who understand the devastating effect plastic pollution has on our oceans and our lives, the better armed they will be to stop this problem.

Board Chair Statement

Terri J. Buchanan, CPA
Algalita Marine Research and Education

I have been a member of the Algalita Board of Directors for five years. I have chosen to be part of this amazing organization because the plastic pollution in our oceans is one of the most critical issues facing the world at this time. Algalita was the first organization to bring this issue to the public’s attention, thanks to our founder Captain Charles Moore, who discovered and publicized the great pacific garbage patch.

Algalita has been able to accomplish a great deal with very few resources, due to the dedication of our team. We conduct the research that supports our education programs, but research funding has been difficult to obtain. We are addressing this by linking the underlying research to education programs in grant and contract proposals, changing our marketing strategies, and expanding our relationships with local nonprofits and government offices with similar objectives.

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer


Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Education
  2. Environment - Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
  3. Science & Technology - Marine Science and Oceanography



Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions (POPS) Education and Leadership Program

 1. In-class STEM Education - Algalita educators conduct presentations at over 40 schools to provide science-based environmental education, introduce students to STEM explorations and careers, and increase awareness of the issue of plastic marine debris. They also provide 230 free, reusable Debris Science Investigation (DSI) Kits to classroom teachers.
2. Teacher Training – provides free teaching kits, curriculum enhancement courses, and opportunities to participate in real-world research.
3. Student Action Projects – teams are invited to create activities in their own communities to reduce plastic pollution and submit their ideas to Algalita. The top teams will be invited to attend the Annual Youth Summit.
4. Peer Leadership Training – Algalita selects 12 students to become Student Advisors.
5. Annual Youth Summit – a 3-day conference held in February at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, attended by students from around the world. Participants attend various educational workshops. 
Budget  $158,454.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Short term, we strive to educate students about an issue, plastic pollution, they may be unaware of. We also anticipate these students going home and educating the rest of the family concerning the plastic pollution issue and making small changes within their homes that can make a positive impact.
Program Long-Term Success 

 Algalita’s POPS Program is an exciting environmental education program designed to promote science-based education and provide opportunities for students to develop and strengthen leadership skills. The goal is to launch a wave of youth-led action and awareness campaigns to reduce plastic marine pollution by educating, motivating, and empowering youth, grades K-12. All activities are provided free of charge and include Classroom Resources, Teacher Training, Student Action Projects, Peer Leadership Training, and an Annual Youth Summit.

The long term goal is to reduce plastic pollution. We believe Education is the key to Prevention.

Program Success Monitored By  We are able to determine the number of students reached fairly easily. In order to determine the impact of our program, we use surveys, teacher and student interviews, monitor student action projects, etc.
Examples of Program Success 

In Class Stem Workshops:
Direct impact: 6,075 students and 74 teachers
Indirect impact: 33,920 students

Teacher Training:
Direct impact: 170 teachers
Indirect impact: 27,200 students
Our numbers have increased every year, since the programs inception. 

Ship2Shore Program

 The issue of plastic marine debris is a serious, global problem that will require innovative thinking and new approaches to resolve. Algalita believes that today’s students will become tomorrow’s leaders, and we seek to inspire and enable them to create a global environment that is healthy, sustainable, and productive for all living creatures, free from plastic pollution.  Algalita began offering innovative science-based educational programs in 2011 that are ideal for schools and organizations seeking opportunities to introduce students to real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) explorations and careers and are designed to engage young people in finding solutions to plastic pollution. Algalita’s Ship2Shore Program is the latest expansion of our educational programs and provides students with the opportunity to experience first-hand, real-world marine research while on board the Ocean Research Vessel (ORV) Alguita, in the protected waters of the East San Pedro Bay. 
Budget  $65,913.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  The short term success will be getting students interested in STEM subjects. These students might be our future scientists.
Program Long-Term Success   

The Ship2Shore Program will bring awareness to the next generation, with an opportunity to make a positive influence in the reduction of the use of plastic products. The Program is also an excellent method to engage students in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to increase their interest in those subjects in order to close the educational gap facing American students today.

According to the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI), American students continue to fall behind in the essential subjects of math & science. U.S. students recently finished 27th in math, 20th in science in the ranking of 34 countries (2015). Providing a hands-on, interactive opportunity to participate in real-world science activities will help enhance students’ exposure to the types of scientific careers available. Program participants will have the extraordinary experience of performing scientific marine research activities under the guidance of Algalita’s Educators and staff.

Program Success Monitored By   

Algalita will measure and evaluate the impact and success of the Ship2Shore Program through the following methods:


  • Attendance records will be utilized to record the number of middle and high school students who participate in the research activities at sea, at student assemblies, and involved with Action Projects;
  • Surveys will be given and evaluated to measure the students increase in knowledge about plastic marine debris, scientific research methods, and preventative actions they can do to reduce the impact on the environment;
  • Registration data will be used to measure the number of students who connect via satellite communication during the ORV Alguita expeditions;
  • Water samples and the results of their analysis will be published on Algalita’s Plastic Ocean Index GIS website
  • The collection points will be mapped on Algalita’s Plastic Ocean Index GIS website.

Examples of Program Success  This is a new program for us.


CEO/Executive Director Katie Allen
CEO Term Start Jan 2016
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Katie Allen is an innovator and educator, passionate about inspiring others to discover and pursue their unique contribution to the world.

After completing her music degree, Katie followed her dreams of becoming a touring musician until landing a job managing artist accounts at Warner Bros Records. Four years into her career, her life was changed after watching Captain Charles Moore’s interview on the David Letterman Show. Her desire to join Algalita’s fight against plastic pollution was so strong she left the music industry to pursue a degree in science education and a career in ocean conservation.

Katie spent five years under the mentorship of Captain Moore as Algalita’s Education Director. During that time, she designed and sustained programs that continue to reach thousands of students and teachers every year. By bridging real-world science with real-time solutions, Katie transformed the organization’s reach by igniting an international, youth-led movement fueled by more than 100,000 youth in 19 countries. She has multiple articles published around the world and is a frequent keynote speaker at ocean conservation conferences.

Katie’s strong vision for Algalita’s future led her to the helm of the organization. In January 2016, she took on the role of Executive Director, where she provides leadership and oversight to a team of passionate scientists, educators, and ocean conservationists.

As a Southern California native, Katie loves hiking, music, and spending time in the water with her husband and two sons, Oliver and Anderson.


Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Marieta Francis Jan 2002 Mar 2015

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Katie Allen Executive Director --
Anika Ballent Education Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


 Algalita collaborates with numerous partners locally and globally.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 75%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 2
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Marieta Francis
Board Chair Company Affiliation retired
Board Chair Term Jan 2018 - Dec 2018
Board Co-Chair Ron Jagner
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation retired Boeing engineer
Board Co-Chair Term Jan 2015 - Dec 2015

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Terri Buchanan retired CPA Voting
Mallory Burden Ca Recycle Voting
Jeff Carrick -- --
Dr Nikhil Dave retired Physics engineer Voting
Marieta Francis -- --
Dr Carole Harris Psychotherapist and Clinical Social Worker Voting
Ron Jagner retired Boeing engineer Voting
Dan Kalmick owner - computer consulting business Voting
Kevin Poffenbarger EPD Consultants Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 1 - Indian
Gender Female: 4
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 83%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 16%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $536,827 $705,397 $450,732
Total Expenses $448,699 $458,157 $465,044

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$492,905 $614,913 $430,444
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue $9,208 $72,099 $920
Investment Income, Net of Losses $15,625 $1,682 $7,901
Membership Dues $3,550 $2,750 $1,825
Special Events $6,512 $6,578 $9,642
Revenue In-Kind $8,373 $49,080 --
Other $654 $7,375 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $369,817 $343,174 $325,915
Administration Expense $53,413 $81,286 $100,357
Fundraising Expense $25,469 $33,697 $38,772
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.20 1.54 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 82% 75% 70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 5% 9%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $401,803 $321,141 $387,007
Current Assets $147,419 $98,773 $114,617
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 --
Current Liabilities $3,723 $11,259 $324,365
Total Net Assets $398,080 $309,882 $62,642

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 39.60 8.77 0.35

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $225,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.