The majestic world underneath the sea has captivated the minds of many for centuries. Whether it’s the unique wildlife found beneath the waves or the sheer expanse of the open seas, the ocean is one of the most interesting and sought out places to explore. In addition to providing us with beauty, it also serves as our lifeline, full of resources we all rely on.
The growing threats to ocean health — including habitat loss and overfishing — are exacerbated by climate change. That’s why The Nature Conservancy is working with partners around the world to advance policies and practices that balance the ocean’s many uses while restoring and sustaining the integrity of its natural systems. This stunning collection of ocean photos provides a glimpse at the wonders beneath the waves and shows what we’re working so hard to protect.
Oceans are the resource we all share.
In This Together
All over the world, people depend on the ocean’s vast supply of fish as a source of food, recreation and income. But threats like ocean acidification caused by climate change and overfishing are impacting many aquatic species. Today, nearly half of the world’s population—3 billion people—depend on fish as a source of protein. However, around 85 percent of commercially harvested fishery stocks are at their breaking point. This means we must continue working together to restore habitat and make conservation of marine life a priority. Together, we can help protect and sustain ocean life and coastal communities for a bountiful future.
Protecting underwater habitat is vital
A Community Below
For the first time ever, Caribbean countries and territories now have a clear picture of the habitats found beneath the waves. The Nature Conservancy has created detailed maps of the coral reefs and other essential ecosystems throughout the entire Caribbean basin. This is an important stride in conservation, as these high-resolution maps significantly enhance our knowledge of the ocean to help us better protect coral reefs and other oases of marine life that sustain threatened species. These revolutionary maps can transform the way resources are protected and managed for island nations in which 60 percent of living coral has been lost in the past few decades alone. This is vital for supporting endangered species—because we can now see which reef habitats are most threatened and in need of urgent help.
Ocean animals that are on the go
Climate change has threatened migration for the many species that navigate thousands of miles under water. In Mexico, we’ve helped ensure the conservation of more than 34 million acres of marine areas. This protected habitat serves as a migratory route for dozens of species of sharks, rays, tuna, sea turtles and dolphins, vital breeding grounds for humpback whales and more than 400 fish species. The Nature Conservancy and partners are improving migration for threatened species like the hawksbill turtle by using technology to determine where habitat conservation is most needed.
intimate snaps from the deep sea
Thousands of unique species can be found in the ocean depths, and we’ve only just begun to discover and understand the relationships these animals have with one another and with their marine ecosystems. We must continue to learn more about these deep-sea creatures so that we can protect the habitat they need to thrive. By protecting threatened habitats, we preserve biodiversity and encourage healthy environments for both people and nature.
Coastlands…the best of both worlds
Where the Land Meets the Sea
To protect our coast and the value it provides to nature and people, we need innovative conservation and policy guided by science. In North America, The Nature Conservancy has incorporated strategies like the rebuilding of coastal reefs and other natural structures to help protect against sea level rise.
Now more than ever, the choices we make affect the world we leave for tomorrow. We must continue the hard work needed to combat these threats and protect our most cherished places. In the next decade, The Nature Conservancy is working to protect people and nature by conserving 650 million hectares of healthy land, 30 million hectares of freshwater, and 4 billion hectares of oceans. Through protected areas, sustainable fishing, forest management, and working with Indigenous peoples, it is possible to shape a better future for people and the planet.