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Meet Maxwell Waitt



Who is Maxwell Waitt, and where is Maxwell Waitt from?

Maxwell Waitt serves on the board of the Waitt Foundation and recently became a member of its Investment and Audit Committee. The board has taken charge of the foundation's global funding and grantmaking efforts, emphasizing transparency and making the most of every dollar invested.

The Waitt Foundation provides funding to its research arm, the Waitt Institute, making it vital that transparency be at the heart of this organization, and Maxwell Waitt is on the front lines collaborating for success with research institutions, private businesses, NGOs, and governments.

Maxwell Waitt is one of the Waitt Foundation’s primary driving forces in developing a blue economy, defined as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem. He is deeply committed to the focus of the foundation, which is to attain sustainable, resilient, and thriving seas that benefit all.

Other Maxwell Waitt news and business highlights include the opening of Orli La Jolla, a new kind of hideaway, this summer.


Learn More About The Waitt Institute

The Waitt Institute is one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations dedicated to conserving the world’s oceans while helping communities sustainably preserve their unique cultures and ways of life.

The board brings together skilled, talented individuals with a relentless determination to achieve our goals. It also is a founding member of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, a multi-year partnership forged with a network of NGOs, academic institutions, and foundations across the globe to assist governments in protecting 30% of their marine environments.

Where the Institute Works

The Waitt Institute has participated in projects in 56 countries and led 62 expeditions. From the Galapagos Islands to Fiji to the Federated States of Micronesia, they have initiated conservation projects and continue to ensure success with ongoing management, according to a multi-phase approach.

Additionally, they are firm believers in crafting the blue economy which requires not just a national, but a global approach.

In this globalized world, government partnerships, scientific expeditions, and well-executed grants must span from one continent to the other.

Waitt Expeditions

The Waitt Institute funds scientific expeditions across the world that contribute to scientific discovery, partner with governments who are committed to protecting their resources, and bring about a new awareness of the plight of the world’s oceans.

They have funded expeditions in nearly 60 countries, traveled more than 200,000 miles, and led nearly 62 scientific expeditions, and they are just getting started.

Read about some of the groundbreaking expeditions below.

Maldives – March-April 2021 & January 2020


The Waitt Foundation funded the creation of an expedition together with the Maldives Marine Research Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to survey the ocean environments across the Maldivian archipelago.

The Maldives remains one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to rising sea levels. Not to mention, the 1,190 Maldivian islands total only 1% of the nation’s territory, making the ocean its most abundant and important resource. The government is eager for solutions to protect the health of marine life and cut down on emissions to preserve the country's islands.

Cape Horn – February 2017


The Waitt Institute conducted a scientific expedition within the Magallanes region with the National Geographic Pristine Seas organization. The goal was simple: to study the marine ecosystems of the remote islands and fjords in order to best support the government of Chile in their conservation and sustainability efforts.

In February of 2018, Chile’s president Michelle Bachellet signed into law protections for nearly 450,000 square miles of water.


Albania – June 2015


Albania’s coastline has traditionally received little attention within the conservation field, and the Institute wanted to change that. The Albania expedition's focus was to work closely with the government of Albania to encourage them to expedite the creation of the protected marine area within the Albanian Ionian Sea.


The expedition successfully obtained baseline survey information to lay the groundwork for future marine protections in the area.


Great Barrier Reef – December 2014


The Institute worked with the Global Change Institute from the University of Queensland and the Catlin Seaview Survey to study areas of the Great Barrier Reef.


The Great Barrier Reef remains one of the world’s most threatened coral reefs. By funding a scientific expedition of the area, they assessed the reef's health and collaborated to provide recommendations on how to halt and reverse the damage.


Gabon – October 2012


The Waitt Foundation began its long-term relationship with the Pristine Seas program of National Geographic to conduct an expedition to the coastline of Gabon.


The African nation has long had an established land-based protection area in place for the wildlife and flora of the area but has lacked the same protections along its coastline.


The expedition focused on providing scientific data to inform the Gabonese government of the ocean conditions of the area and the urgency required to protect their marine resources and wildlife. This expedition directly led to the opening of the dialogue that culminated in the creation of Marine Protected Areas.


The Focus of the Institute


Maxwell Waitt is honored to support the Waitt Institute’s commitment to protecting the world’s oceans while supporting threatened coastal communities.

The focus utilizes creating a blue economy, the designation of marine protected areas, and faithfully engaging with stakeholders to implement sustainable ocean plans.

The Blue Economy


The Institute believes in the creation of a blue economy that works for everybody because we believe that conservation and economic concerns can work in tandem.

It employs an intelligent approach to managing the blue economy through first, gaining an understanding of a state’s blue assets, then identifying high-impact ideas that can lead that nation’s blue economy, and then implementing and monitoring strategies to help achieve those goals. 

Marine Spatial Planning


Marine Spatial Planning, or MSP, is a public participatory process that uses the best available information about the natural environment and human activities – such as fishing, shipping, renewable energy, aquaculture, and infrastructure – to direct how we plan for future use and conservation of ocean space.


The Waitt Institute team includes experts in the science, policy, legal, and communications fields. We bring our technical expertise to support our government partners in developing and implementing Marine Spatial Plans, in support of a more sustainable future for our ocean. 

Promoting Sustainable Fishing


The Institute envisions a modern, responsive, and consultative approach to fisheries management that ensures that fishing is a low risk to marine resources and that fisheries are used in a way that optimizes benefits to the community.

Our experts work hand in hand with local governments to develop strategies for sustainable fisheries. With growing populations, it is imperative we balance economic prosperity with environmental protection.  

Protecting Marine Life Through Conservation


Conservation is at the heart of developing a blue economy that works for everybody. Our mission is to find sustainable solutions that both improve local communities, livelihoods, and economies, and preserve resources for all generations to come.

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