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The Anthem Awards Announces 2024 Anthem Fund Recipient: Billion Oyster

The nonprofit organization, which leads local conservation efforts, will receive a financial grant to restore New York’s oyster reefs through public education initiatives.

Text reads: The Anthem Fund. Image: A logo for The Anthem Awards and a logo for Billion Oyster Project

How do we uplift the work of those on the frontlines of change? Since 2021, The Anthem Fund provides financial support to emerging organizations working to advance issues relating to one of the core causes recognized in The Anthem Awards. Following 2023, the hottest year ever recorded, the climate crisis and environment have taken center stage. It’s grown more urgent to support climate action and solutions.

Billion Oyster Project (BOP) was recently announced as the 2024 Anthem Fund recipient to support their efforts at the forefront this work! The nonprofit organization will receive a financial grant to aid their mission in restoring oyster reefs: one of the most crucial components of global marine ecosystems. More than nurseries for hundreds of species, oyster reefs help filter pollutants that affect water quality and protect shorelines from storm damage. Yet, they are rapidly disappearing in New York Harbor. Through public education initiatives, BOP’s oyster reef restoration is maintaining the region’s biodiversity, and nurturing a new generation of climate activists and conservationists.

To date, BOP has reintroduced 122 million oysters, restored 19 acres and 18 reef sites, reclaimed 2.5 million pounds of shell from restaurants, engaged more than 11,000 students, and in 2023 alone, connected 14,500 people to their restoration initiatives.

Pete Malinowski, Executive Director at Billion Oyster Project on receiving the fund: 

“Our team at Billion Oyster Project is determined to engage one million people in the effort to restore one billion oysters to New York Harbor. Being recognized by The Anthem Fund reinforces the important work we are doing to ignite New Yorker’s passion for our natural environment and revive oyster reefs — the "ecosystem engineers" of our local waterways."

Image description: Two people wearing tan overalls hunch over an oyster reef in New York Harbor. They are testing and rebuilding reef sites.

Student volunteers restore oyster reefs in New York Harbor with Billion Oyster Project.

Restoration Through Public Education 

Education is a key pillar to BOP’s work; just last year the organization engaged over 3,299 New York City students through recruitment tours, as volunteers for days of service, and by hosting in-class workshops and the 9th Annual Student Symposium. The latter invited students to present 120 research projects on their local waterways. Additional highlights include: 

  • Providing professional development training to 226 teachers, emphasizing a STEM curriculum focused on oyster restoration 
  • Hosting 24 student interns for Billion Oyster Project initiatives 
  • Engaging 1,952 participants at their nine Field Stations (active oyster structures)

Student holds local oysters while engaging with Billion Oyster Project

On The Horizon for 2024 

In the new year, BOP has their sights set on the Long Island Sound. With a special focus on Queens and the Bronx and a goal of creating upwards of 10 oyster restoration sites, they’ll engage local community groups. Moreover, BOP is relocating to Governors Island and partnering to create a “living laboratory” for climate solutions.

The Anthem Awards is so thrilled to recognize the Billion Oyster Project as the 2024 Anthem Fund recipient, and see them further their important efforts to restore New York’s ecosystem. To learn more about their work, visit the Billion Oyster Project site.

Ready to Meet More Companies Making an Impact? The Anthem  Tuned: 

Patagonia – Don’t Buy This Jacket

Patagonia has put social impact at the core of their brand mission and values from the start, and their iconic Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign demonstrates how brands can use their platform to make an impact — or better yet, to help reduce our impact. This 2011 ad ran in the New York Times on Black Friday, making a lasting impression for its bold message addressing the issue of consumerism head on and asking readers to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, and reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

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NEWS & ANNONCEMENTS

Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels Movement

Love Has No Labels is a movement by The Ad Council to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.

Read our Q&A with Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s Chief Campaign Development Officer on the team behind LHNL collaborates with partners to combat implicit bias—from crafting PSAs to driving viewers to take action, to how brands and companies should approach corporate social responsibility with authenticity.

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