TerraMar Project



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $6,974
Expenses: $211,688
Assets: $1,223

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The TerraMar Project was a non-profit dedicated to ocean-focused environmental activism. Founder Ghislaine Maxwell was an alleged “close associate” of politically connected sex offender and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. 1

The New York Post reported in July 2019 that federal officials investigated the Project after Epstein was arrested for his alleged sex trafficking operation. 2 It was closed soon thereafter and its Twitter account was deleted. 34


The TerraMar Project was funded substantially by loans from Ghislaine Maxwell. The organization gave $874 in grants during its existence, according to the Post. 5

The Project’s revenues were as low as $582 in 2017 and as high as $132,658 in 2014. 6 Its expenditures ranged from over $156,000 to nearly $224,000 from 2012 to 2015. 7


The Project’s mission was to raise awareness for ocean conservation efforts. Maxwell spoke at a 2014 Council on Foreign Relations event about the issue. 8 She also spoke at events at the United Nations in 2013 and 2014. 910 She also gave a TED Talk. 1112

These high-profile events dovetailed with Maxwell’s and the Project’s high-profile partnerships. The Project’s effort to hold the United Nations to sustainable promises made regarding the ocean were praised and backed by the Clinton Global Initiative. 1314

Maxwell authored a 2015 op-ed for the Project’s newsletter, “The Daily Catch,” which theorized the moment the oceans “failed” due to environmental harm. 15 Archives of The Daily Catch were live as of August 17, 2019. TerraMar Project’s director of development Brian Yurasitis’ LinkedIn profile shows that the Project had several projects as part of its mission. 16 One project was the “How I sea” campaign, which collected stories from environmentalists and others who took photos of the ocean around the world. 17

The #NoMoreButts initiative was the Project’s effort to create more opportunities for smokers to dispose of cigarette butts in an environmentally friendly fashion. 18

Ghislaine Maxwell

Maxwell is the daughter of controversial British media magnate Robert Maxwell, who was implicated in mishandling the pension fund of the Daily Mirror after his death in 1991. 19

After Ghislaine Maxwell moved to New York following her father’s death, she became widely known for her high-end social connections with U.S. Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, British royalty, and others. 2021 She attended Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. 22

Despite decades in the public eye, she became a very private person in 2016. That year, she sold her $15 million home and largely disappeared from the public. 23

After Epstein’s death, Maxwell became a notable figure amid allegations that she was involved in Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking scheme. A federal court ordered the release of 2,000 pages of documents related to a 2015 lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s accusers; the woman alleged that Maxwell had solicited her to perform sex acts for Epstein as a 16-year-old. Maxwell denied the allegations and has not been criminally charged for these alleged acts as of early July 2020. 24 Maxwell reportedly has settled lawsuits with two women who claimed she was involved in Epstein’s exploitation without admitting guilt. 2526

Maxwell has been involved in many public projects and efforts. She co-hosted a launch party for the publishing platform Ideapod in 2013. 2728

In July 2020, federal prosecutors secured an indictment of Maxwell on charges related to conspiracy in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls; she was arrested and faced trial as of early July.29

Other Leadership

The TerraMar Project’s leadership consisted of Maxwell, celebrities, and scientists. Sylvia Earle, who in 2014 was at the National Geographic Society, helped give the Project initial credibility, as did Dan Laffoley, at the time marine vice chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Area. 30

Dead Poets Society producer Steven Haft served on the Project’s Board of Directors, as did businessman and United Nations official Amir Dossal. 31

Brian Yurasitis was listed as the TerraMar Project’s Director of Development on August 17, 2019. 32

Former Coast Guardsman Robert Foos served as Director of Development and Chief of Staff for TerraMar. 33


  1. Matthew Schneier, “The socialize on Epstein’s arm,” July 15, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  2. Vincent, Isabel. “Feds Probe Socialite’s Mysterious Ocean ‘Charity’ over Links to Jeffrey Epstein.” New York Post. New York Post, July 28, 2019.
  3. The TerraMar Project, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  4. Cain, Áine. “Ghislaine Maxwell Abruptly Torpedoed Her Oceanic Non-Profit in the Wake of the Scandal Surrounding Her Associate Jeffrey Epstein.” Business Insider. Business Insider, July 18, 2019.
  5. Isabel Vincent, “Feds probe socialite’s mysterious ocean charity over links to Jeffrey Epstein,” July 27, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  6. ProPublica, The TerraMar Project 2017 990, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  7. ProPublica, The TerraMar Project 990 page, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  8. Stewart Patrick, Council on Foreign Relations August 2014 Global Governance Update, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  9. YouTube, TerraMar Project page, “TerraMar founder speaks at the United Nations,” March 18, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  10. United Nations, “Healthy oceans and seas: a way forward,” February 4, 2014. Accessed August 17, 2019.  
  11. Rachel McGrath, “Who is Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein groom girls?” August 12, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.    
  12. [1] Jenifer Austin, “TerraMar Project’s Ghislaine Maxwell: a community for the oceans,” June 22, 2013. Accessed on August 17, 2019.
  13. Clinton Foundation, Sustainable Ocean’s Alliance Impacting the SGDs, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  14. Daniel Halper, “Pedophile’s ‘Fixer’ maintains close ties to the Clintons,” January 15, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  15. Ghislaine Maxwell, “Looking back to when the oceans failed,” July 27, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  16. Brian Yurasits, LinkedIn profile, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  17. The TerraMar Project, “How I Sea: A new global ocean survey by The TerraMar Project,” April 5, 2017/ Accessed August 17, 2019.
  18. Brian Yurasits, “Why cigarette butts are the next plastic straw – solving the world’s biggest littering problem,” August 29, 2018. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  19. Clive Irving, “Ghislaine Maxwell’s father was a dark and mysterious figure, just like Jeffrey Epstein,” July 13, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  20. Erik Ortiz, “British socialize Ghislaine Maxwell in spotlight after Epstein’s apparent suicide,” August 10, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  21. Clive Irving, “Ghislaine Maxwell’s father was a dark and mysterious figure, just like Jeffrey Epstein,” July 13, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  22. Amanda Arnold, “What we know about Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam,” August 12, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  23. Dan Mangan, “Mystery of Ghislaine Maxwell’s whereabouts deepens as Jeffrey Epstein accusers eye his alleged madam,” August 14, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  24. Larry Neumeister, Jim Mustian, “Documents: Epstein ducked sex-abuse questions in deposition,” August 9, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.    
  25. Twohey, Megan, and Jacob Bernstein. “The ‘Lady of the House’ Who Was Long Entangled With Jeffrey Epstein.” The New York Times. The New York Times, July 16, 2019.
  26. Martha Ross, “Chelsea Clinton denies she was ever close friends with Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘madam,’” July 22, 2019. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  27. Idea Pod, About, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  28. Patrick McMullan Company, Celebrating the launch of IdeaPod, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  29. “Ghislaine Maxwell Charged In Manhattan Federal Court For Conspiring With Jeffrey Epstein To Sexually Abuse Minors.” The United States Department of Justice, July 6, 2020.
  30. John Platt, “TerraMar Project launches to celebrate and protect the world’s oceans,” October 10, 2012. Accessed August 17, 2019.
  31. ProPublica, TerraMar Project 2017 990, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  32. Brian Yurasits, LinkedIn profile, Accessed August 17, 2019.
  33. USCGA Alumni Association, Elect Your Board of Directors, Accessed August 17, 2019.   
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2013

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $6,974 $211,688 $1,223 $540,697 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $132,572 $156,347 $41,789 $327,429 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990EZ $24,567 $189,888 $21,564 $283,429 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $127,379 $223,923 $98,608 $195,152 N $127,379 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    TerraMar Project

    NEW YORK, NY 10017-0000