9 Gift Ideas for Ocean Lovers

Need to get something at the last minute?

Young girl pointing at shark in aquarium, Cape Town, Western Cape Provence, South Africa
Herman du Plessis / Getty Images

Do you know someone who loves marine life or nature? Check out this gift guide including some unique items, many of which can be purchased at the last minute or online. You could delight the marine enthusiast in your life even more by combining some of these items into a marine-themed gift basket!

01
of 09

Donate to a Charity

Reef gardener attaching corals to artificial reef, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia
Reef gardener attaching corals to artificial reef, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia. Wolfgang Poelzer / Getty Images

If your marine science lover is already swimming in ocean-themed objects, a donation to a marine life charity in the recipient's name is a great gift. There are organizations out there that are large and small, focused broadly on marine conservation, and narrowly on helping particular species or regions. Just a few include the Ocean Conservancy, the Coral Reef Alliance, and Oceana.

02
of 09

Gift a Gift Membership

Silhouette of a child looking at dolphin in aquarium
മിഖേല്‍ / Getty Images

Consider gifting an individual or family membership to a local aquarium or science center. Your recipient will remember your kind gesture every time they visit! This gift is especially good for families. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums offers a listing that will help you select the right membership for the ocean lover in your life.

03
of 09

"Adopt" a Marine Animal

Three divers photographing whale shark
Whale shark and divers, Wolfe Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Michele Westmorland / Getty Images

A virtual adoption of a marine animal such as a whale, seal, shark, or seabird is a great way to make a tangible difference. Major groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and Oceana offer such options through their websites. You'll likely get an adoption kit with an adoption certificate and a detailed life history of the animal you've adopted.

This is a great gift for kids, who are often thrilled with the idea of having their "own" marine animal! Bear in mind, however, that "adoptions" of marine animals are symbolic rather than literal. An adoption kit may include a photo of a specific animal, but don't expect to hear updates about that particular creature; after all, they are wild animals that are in constant motion!

04
of 09

Give an Interaction With Marine Life

Underwater young woman with dolphin closeup
Justin Lewis / Getty Images

If your gift recipient is adventurous, you could give them a gift certificate or offer to accompany them on a trip to view marine life. Depending on your location, you might choose from such options as a whale or seal watching trip, snorkeling or scuba diving tour, or swim-with experience featuring any of a variety of sea creatures. Try to support responsible, eco-friendly operators when making your purchase. You could accompany your gift with a field guide listing the species they might see on their trip.

05
of 09

Marine Life CDs and DVDs

"Blue Planet II" DVD cover

Photo from Amazon 

Give a CD of marine life sounds, such as a CD featuring whale songs, or a DVD about marine life (the Discovery Channel Store has many), perhaps accompanied by a book about marine life.

06
of 09

Marine Life Books

Citizens of the Sea cover
Photo from Amazon

There are a variety of books about marine life, ranging from fictional stories to non-fiction, science-based books, and coffee table books. Some of the best include "World Ocean Census," which features beautiful images and accounts of exciting, innovative research, "Voyage of the Turtle," with great information on leatherback turtles, and "The Secret Life of Lobsters," an extremely fun read about lobster biology and research.

07
of 09

Binoculars

Young woman with binoculars at railing of cruise ship
Ulrike Schmitt-Hartmann / Getty Images

Maybe you know someone who is just getting into observing marine life such as whales or seabirds. If so, binoculars would be a great gift, especially when combined with an informative field guide.

08
of 09

Marine Life Calendar

Marine life calendar 2019

Photo from Amazon

There are lots of calendars out there that feature beautiful images of marine life, many of which are produced by non-profit organizations, so your purchase will help further their work.

09
of 09

Marine Life Gifts for the Home

Jellyfish shower curtain

Photo from Amazon 

Other great gift ideas include artwork, marine life sculptures, stationery, jewelry, and shells or shell-themed decorations or housewares. There are lots of options here! Nautical designs are trendy lately, and you can often find things like towels, soap holders, glasses, and tableware that have a marine life or nautical theme.