The Honda Marine Science Foundation is an initiative to help restore marine ecosystems and facilitate climate change resilience. The foundation supports efforts that improve and preserve coastal areas for future generations.

Mission Statement

The Honda Marine Science Foundation's mission is to help restore marine ecosystems and facilitate climate change resilience.


As a company committed to the environment, Honda supports efforts that address the most pressing environment challenges. Inspired by the Japanese philosophy of sato-umi - the convergence of land and sea where human and marine life can harmoniously coexist - Honda set out to address the impact of climate change on our oceans and intertidal areas.

In 2015, Honda began studying the oceanic and aquatic impacts of a rapidly changing climate, such as ocean acidification and rising sea levels. Honda also researched human impacts on marine environments, including water pollution and overfishing. Company representatives met with a number of marine science and management experts to determine the most meaningful ways Honda could contribute. Each meeting reinforced the magnitude of the problem,  but also sparked an optimism that cross-sector collaboration could facilitate successful ocean conservation and restoration. From that optimism, the Honda Marine Science Foundation was established in 2016.


The Foundation has identified critical projects that support our mission of marine ecosystem restoration and climate change resilience, and will work to actively support these projects.

Oyster Habitat Restoration

In partnership with the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, the Honda Marine Science Foundation supports pioneering research into native California oyster restoration. Restoring native oyster populations provide a myriad of ecosystem services to other species while bolstering the natural shore infrastructure to withstand the impact of rising sea levels.

How To Apply for a Grant


Honda created the Honda Marine Science Foundation based on the idea that humans can and should have a mutually beneficial relationship with coastal ecosystems. This idea is known as “sato-umi”. In Japanese, “sato” means the area where people live, and “umi” means the sea. Sato-umi is a coastal area where biological productivity and biodiversity thrive due to human interaction.


Eligible Organizations: 501(c)(3) public charities

To streamline grantmaking and ensure that the foundation does not run afoul of the prohibition against self-dealing, grants will not be given to organizations with which board members or their relatives have a direct financial relationship. The foundation will consult legal counsel if there are questions regarding the applicability of this rule to a particular potential grantee.

Honda Marine Science Foundation is unable to fund mitigation projects or programs that are required by a separate federal, state, or locally issued permit, decree, or enforcement action.

Geographic Scope

Currently, priority is given to coastal regions in Washington, Oregon, California, and/or Hawaii.

Funding Priority (Grantmaking Criteria)

In its first round of proposals, HMSF will be focusing on projects that advance the understanding and/or implementation of living shorelines, which are natural approaches to protecting coastal habitats and communities (“community” is interpreted very broadly beyond strictly geographical parameters). They also provide habitat value, enhance coastal resilience, and boost ecosystem services.


Purpose of Project
•   Advancement of ecosystem and natural resources protection and restoration along the coast through living shorelines
•   Conserve and enhance biodiversity and ecological integrity of the coast
•   Balance sensitive habitat protection and public access

Broader Impacts
•   Increase awareness about threats to coastal habitats and communities, and the role living shorelines play in addressing these threats
•   Promote education through research, encouraging projects that further the understanding of how to effectively advance living shorelines and the role living shorelines play in addressing coastal threats

•   Project timeline up to 2 years
•   Ability to serve as a model for or inform future projects or programs

Need and Support
•   Public support (in the form of three support letters)
•   Grant matching: Projects must show matching contributions of funds or in-kind services. Proof of grant matching is not required in the LOI, but will be required in the final application.

Special Considerations
•   Gap Funding: Special consideration may be given to projects that have a gap in funding or are at the “last mile”, such as projects that are close to completion but ran out of funds and need just enough to complete the project, develop a model, or conduct an event.
•   Shovel-Ready: Special consideration may be given to projects where the design and permits are in place and the project just needs the funds to get started and do the project.
•   Mitigation: Although mitigation projects will not be considered, special consideration may be given to explore a living shorelines-based “experiment” associated with a mitigation project to enhance its conservation value that would require additional funds. The learnings must be shared with the mitigation authority.

In addition to the above criteria, projects should integrate the sato-umi philosophy of prolonged human interaction, and should achieve one or more of the following:

•   Create hands-on conservation activities for the public, inside and outside the local community.
•   Enhance economic benefits to the local community.
•   Facilitate an experiential activity in the conservation area for the public.
•   Integrate historical information and story-telling into the conservation process and public experience.

About the Grants

The Honda Marine Science Foundation will select an estimated 2-3 grantees per year. With an estimated $200,000 available in grant funds annually, grant amounts may range from $25,000-$75,000.

Grantmaking Process

This is a two-stage process. First, a Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted. Potential applicants will be selected and notified. Second, a full application must be submitted for review.

Letter of Intent: The deadline for LOI submission is October 28. Selected applicants will be notified by December 1.
•   Length: not to exceed 3 pages
•   Format: Times New Roman size 12 font, double-spaced with 1 inch margins. Submissions must be in PDF format.
•   Content:
•   Executive Summary
•   Statement of Need
•   Project Description
•   Timeline
•   Intended Outcomes
•   Budget 
•   Credentials 
•   Conclusion 
•   Attachments 
•  To apply, send the Letter of Intent to: by midnight PST on October 28, 2017.

Application: Invited applicants must submit applications by January 31. Selected grantees will be notified March 1.

Grant Selection Process Timeline











Notify LOI shortlist



Application Due



Notify Grantees

Managing and Use of Grant Funds
No more than 10% of Honda Marine Science Foundation grant funds may be used for overhead or administration.

Additional Considerations
Intellectual Property: The Honda Marine Science Foundation aims to maximize the benefits of grant-funded projects. The Foundation encourages sharing resources and seeks to avoid duplicitous efforts in the broader marine science community. Thus, grantees are expected to use the funds in ways that contribute to broader, long-term objectives. 

Find out more about the Honda Marine Science Foundation and the projects we support.

Committed to creating a positive environmental impact, Honda proudly supports the Sea Turtle Patrol of Edisto Beach State Park.

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Board of Directors

The Honda Marine Science Foundation Board is comprised of Honda representatives and experts from marine sciences fields. Board members serve varying term lengths of one to three years.

Steve Center


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Kim Smalley


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Raminta Jautokas


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Jessalyn Ishigo


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Mark DiPietro

Board Member

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Hunter S. Lenihan

Board Member

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Dr. Jerry R. Schubel

Board Member

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Sarah Abramson Sikich

Board Member

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Matt Sloustcher

Board Member

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Chris E. Yates

Board Member

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