How Nature Reduces Risk and Strengthens Coastal Economies
The Nature Conservancy is a leader in marine restoration with coral, mangrove, sea grass, shellfish and other habitat restoration projects ongoing around the globe. Some habitats, like coral and shellfish reefs, are especially important to ocean health, coastal economies and human well-being, yet, these habitats are also extremely threatened, Conservancy scientists, restoration experts, partners and volunteers are working to turn the tide, protecting and restoring the habitats that support us.
Over the past decade in particular, we've put science into action at over 160 restoration sites, 148 of them conducted in partnership with NOAA in U.S. waters. We’ve captured some highlights of our restoration work below and you can download Restoration Works for additional highlights of our work in partnership with NOAA.
Mapping Ocean Wealth
To continue to capture all the values – social, economic and environmental – of oceans and coasts around the world, the Conservancy and partners are undertaking an ambitious project to Map Ocean Wealth. It’s a way to help people visualize the diverse benefits marine habitats provide. It will also help translate all of this science into the economic and engineering language that communities, engineers and investors need for coastal planning decisions.
Recently, our scientists have contributed to studies showing specifically how coastal marine habitat supports communities by contributing to local economies and reducing risk from storms and rising seas.
- Fish Production: in some bays, a single acre of seagrass can produce $8,000 worth of fish annually supporting local economies
- Risk Reduction: on average, coral reefs can reduce 97 percent of wave energy reducing risk to coastal communities
- Water Filtration: an acre of healthy oyster reef can filter 24 million gallons of water per day helping support marine life in the water and communities on land
The good news is that the Conservancy’s work shows that restoration is a very successful conservation tool. Nature is incredibly resilient and given even a little bit of help, can return to health and productivity. At the Conservancy, we see nature’s resilience every day, from restored oyster reefs thriving in the Gulf of Mexico to salmon returning to rivers in Washington State. Take a few minutes to explore our stories and celebrate the healing power of nature.
Restoring Oyster Reefs Can Help Restore the Balance of Nature in the Gulf of Mexico
The Conservancy and its partners make 'super' progress removing the scourge of invasive algae from the coral reefs Kāne‘ohe Bay
Creating new wetlands for salmon on the Skagit River Delta in Washington State
Providing natural barriers to storm waves and fish production in Grenada and Papua New Guinea
Water clarity, erosion control and fish production at the Virginia Coast Reserve
Catch the highlights from NOAA’s 10-year partnership with the Conservancy.
The Nature Conservancy and NOAA are restoring clam populations, which is helping coastal habitats and communities thrive.
View a slideshow of images showing how restoration works for communities and nature around the globe.