Earth Island Institute

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Earth Island Institute (EII) is an environmental group headquartered in Berkeley, California, founded in 1982 by veteran environmentalist David Brower. According to its website, it "fosters the efforts of creative individuals by providing organizational support in developing projects for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the global environment. EII provides activists the freedom to develop program ideas, supported by services to help them pursue those ideas, with a minimum of bureaucracy."[1] They run the Sustainable World Coalition.

Tuna boycott leads to the "Dolphin Safe Tuna" label

A boycott of tuna in 1986 by International Marine Mammal Project, a project of Earth Island Institute, led to tuna companies ending the practice of killing dolphins while fishing for tuna.

"In 1988, biologist Samuel LaBudde signed aboard a Panamanian-flagged tuna fishing vessel in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Using a video camera, LaBudde recorded the horrifying images of hundreds of dolphins dying in tuna nets. The video shocked the world, and people around the world joined in the tuna boycott."

In 1990, StarKist, Bumblebee, and Chicken of the Sea, the three largest tuna companies in the world, agreed to stop selling tuna caught by intentional chasing and netting of dolphins.[2]

Sponsoring projects

Earth Island Institute has provided fiscal sponsorship to more than 100 projects worldwide since the group was founded. The Institute helps groups and individuals start up environmental projects that promote ecological sustainability. They also publish the quarterly magazine Earth Island Journal. "The Journal balances investigative exposés with inspiring stories of change, giving people the information they need be effective environmental activists."[3]

They currently fiscally support over 40 groups, including:

Previous successful projects include:


Accessed January 2011, Officers:[4]

  • Martha Davis, President, Riverside, California, Manager for Strategic Policy Development, Inland Empire Utilities Agency
  • Kenneth Brower, Vice President, Berkeley, California, Writer
  • Michael Hathaway, Vice President, Santa Barbara, California, Writer
  • Jennifer Snyder, Secretary, Oakland, California, Forecasting and Planning Manager, CLIF BAR, Inc.
  • Alex Giedt, Treasurer, Fairfax, California, Marketing, Acxiom


  • Barbara Brower, Portland, Oregon, Professor, Portland State University, Editor, HIMALAYA
  • Robert Wilkinson, President Emeritus, Santa Barbara, California, Lecturer, Environmental Studies Program, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • John de Graaf, Seattle, WA, Documentary filmmaker, activist, author
  • Josh Floum, Mill Valley, CA, General Counsel/Corporate Secretary for Visa Inc.
  • Will Green, San Francisco, CA, Consultant, photographer

Former directors

Accessed July 2007:[5]

Contact details

2150 Allston Way, Suite 460
Berkeley, California
USA 94704-1375
Phone: 510-859-9100
Fax: 510-859-9091

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. About, Earth Island Institute, accessed July 8, 2007.
  2. "The Tuna Boycott Which Led To The "Dolphin Safe" Tuna Label", European Cetacean Bycatch Campaign, accessed January 2011.
  3. About page, Earth Island Institute, accessed January 2011.
  4. Board of Directors, Earth Island Institute, accessed January 2011.
  5. Structure, Earth Island Institute, accessed July 8, 2007.

External articles