A new model for ocean conservation in Dominica

Can a small island nation create a model for financially sustainable marine conservation that is resilient to both the changing climate and the ever-shifting winds of ecotourism?

From that question, the Rosalie Conservation Center--a center of learning and research as well as a fish hatchery and a rum distillery--was born.

The Rosalie Conservation Center is a hybrid venture which will provide aquaculture training and operate a rum distillery as a financially sustainable alternative to inconsistent grant funding. The Center will provide employment opportunities in Dominica while working to protect natural resources and providing the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization, DomSetCO, with long-term support for its education and conservation initiatives.

DomSeTCO is a non-profit charity in Dominica dedicated to conserving the marine environment while improving providing economic opportunities for the communities in which it operates. DomSeTCO, Oceans Forward , and an international team of volunteers from science, conservation, and industry have spent the last few years laying the groundwork for the creation of this conservation center.


Sustainable financing for ocean conservation is an ongoing struggle. Non-profit organizations are dependent on grants and donations to maintain programming, but this model is not a sustainable long-term solution to all but the most well-connected and visible conservation initiatives. While many non-profit organizations use an ecotourism model that relies on the species they steward, Dominica’s sea turtle population is in decline, and revenue generated from turtle tours are no longer as financially viable as they were twenty years ago.


The Rosalie Conservation Center merges a fish hatchery and a rum distillery to create a model for non-profit sustainable conservation financing in support of DomSeTCO’s mission to protect sea turtles and their habitat in Dominica while building economic opportunities for coastal communities. This year, despite the tremendous challenges of a global pandemic, we broke ground. As the foundation and roadwork was poured, we finalized the design of a Deltec hurricane-resistant building, loaded it into containers, and shipped it to Dominica. The building was erected in early March. 



We need your help! Though the RCC has obtained the bulk of its needed funding from several benefactors, the logistics of pulling a project of this size and complexity together in the midst of a historic pandemic has stretched our budget thin. Though the Center is not in financial peril, fluctuations in the costs of materials and shipping over the last year means that we are currently $45,000 short of what we need to bring the Rosalie Conservation Center to full operation. 

You donations will go directly towards purchasing and installing plumbing, electrical installation and supplies, as well as connecting to freshwater.
  • GoFundMe Team 
    • $500 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 11 mos
  • Nichole Cross 
    • $75 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 12 mos
  • David Shiffman 
    • $18 
    • 12 mos
See all

Organizer

Jake Levenson 
Organizer
Plymouth, MA
Oceans Forward 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.