The Lewis Family Foundation proudly underwrote the establishment of the Conservation Media Group (CMG) in 2014. The funding was used to create capacity-building and training infrastructure to support film/video activists and non-profit advocacy organizations.

We believe video storytelling in campaign settings is a vital conservation strategy and tool. CMG focuses on three program areas: providing sanctuary for marine life, reducing ocean plastic at its source, and transitioning to a low-carbon and just economy.

Conservation Media Group does its work through grant funding, workshops and consultation, so that ocean and energy leaders can create compelling call-to-action campaigns with measurable impacts.  To date, CMG has developed and nurtured about 80 filmmaker activists and paired them with over 30 organizations. Successful milestones and results have included international protection for mobulid rays under the CITES accord, a model successfully pursued by CMG and partners to also protect whale sharks. In the ocean plastics realm, CMG has supported the trash mapping work of Ocean Recovery Alliance, and the More Ocean, Less Plastic campaign of 5 Gyres.  The group also provided training and support for’s Break Free mobilization, as well as communications expertise and on-going consultation to as they build a worldwide communications team and technical infrastructure.

A 5-year grant from Grand Circle Foundation supports CMG’s Blue Initiative Program, which provides a $30,000 grant to an international organization each year. The program includes production consultation; in- kind support; and guidance to create a series of short films aimed at engaging local audiences in direct measurable action. Support for the Mediterranean Conservation Society has protected Turkey’s Gokova Bay, as well as leveraged $3m for protection of an additional 500 kilometers of Mediterranean coastline. A second Blue Initiative program has assisted marine education and conservation in southwest Cuba.  The most recent campaign again builds further upon the success of the CITES protection model, applied to the world’s fastest shark species, the mako.  A short film is created each year to engage world travelers in protecting the places they love to explore.

CMG will continue its work until the oceans are measurably healthier, and the world has shifted to a fossil-free and just economy.  There’s a lot to do!