okeanos - Foundation for the sea

Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea

Our documentary "Te Mana o Te Moana - The Pacific Voyagers" won the 'Silver World Medal' at the renowned New York Festivals...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


Development, funding and implementation of projects that inspire and initiate positive change for people and the environment - while increasing awareness of the threats our oceans face in tandem with realistic future solutions.

Get an overview of our mission and projects through this short film about Okeanos...

Pacific Voyagers Vaka Moana fleet

Innovative development projects: For almost a decade, our focus has been supporting the construction of traditionally designed Polynesian sailing vessels called “Vakas” (canoes). Together with Pacific Voyagers Association, Okeanos has supported the development of vakas designed from information shared by many different island groups, resulting in sailing vessels specific to Pacific inter-island transport that is culturally meaningful, environmentally sustainable while satisfying all sea transportation needs.

The new vaka technology connects the best of the past with the best of the future including solar panels and, most recently, coconut oil-fueled engines, perfectly suited for fossil-fuel free transport of people, food, medicine, and supplies between South Pacific Islands. 

The Vaka Motu (Boat for the Island) is the work boat of the Pacific, built and operated by the islanders themselves. We are most proud that the vakas are fully integrated into the day-to-day lives of the islanders including transportation of teachers and doctors, school children, all goods and services, including disaster-relief to those devastated by extreme weather.

From April 2011- July 2012, a crew of one hundred sailed a fleet of seven Vaka Moana (Boats of the Ocean) across the Pacific as part of the “Te Mana o Te Moana” voyage (The Spirit of the Ocean), inspiring cultural pride and confidence in traditionally based future solutions. 

Now ten solar powered vessels have been developed jointly by Okeanos and Pacific Voyagers Association and have completed approximately 300,000 nautical miles or 15-fold circumnavigation of the earth.

Since their first launch, the journey of these modern vakas has exceeded our dreams and expectations fostering cultural revival, educational opportunities, economic independence, community empowerment and environmental health. Our goal now is to build upon this success by working in partnership with individual island voyaging societies to establish self-sustaining economic infrastructures based upon renewable energy. 

Film and Media: We believe film to be the most powerful means to communicate the beauty and importance of the ocean. As such, Okeanos has funded several environmentally based documentary projects.

“Racing Extinction”, directed by the Academy Award Winner Louie Psihoyos, about the global threat to biodiversity premiered in 220 countries and territories around the world.

The 'Te Mano o Te Moana' voyage can be experienced in the broadcast television documentary “Te Mana o Te Moana – The Pacific Voyagers” and as a 120 minutes feature film titled "Our Blue Canoe".