Protecting Oceans and Coasts

Healthy Oceans and Coasts for People and Nature

The Challenge

Oceans provide half of the oxygen we breathe, food and livelihoods for millions around the globe, medicines to treat disease and support for our thriving coastal economies. And we look to the oceans to provide even more; new economic opportunities, sustainable seafood, and coastal habitats that reduce our risk from coastal storms and flooding. Balancing these growing demands on ocean sustainably is one of the greatest conservation challenges we face.

Across ocean industries — shipping, energy, seafood, tourism — development is booming. The Nature Conservancy sees this trend as a call to action to ensure the world’s blue growth is sustainable. This work aspires to help fishers in Indonesia gain access to the data they need to fish sustainably, communities in the Gulf of Mexico develop coastal resilience strategies, insurers account for nature’s protective value in risk modeling, or nations—such as Seychelles—swap debt payments for investments in conservation and sustainable development.

These innovations are happening. This is Blue Growth by Design.

Our Approach

Our scientists and policy experts focus on coastal waters where development and use pressures are greatest and where people are most dependent upon the oceans. The Conservancy has fisheries and marine conservation programs around the globe in important seascapes including marine projects in every coastal state and territory of the U.S.

  • The Conservancy works with fishermen, industry, governments, and academics to design and implement fisheries management approaches that promote stable supplies of seafood, secure livelihoods for fishing communities and marine conservation.
  • We improve the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities by providing tools for hazard managers, engineers, and elected officials to develop long-range plans for coastlines and identify solutions for risk reduction.
  • The Conservancy and partners protect and restore corals, mangroves, oyster reefs, seagrasses and other natural habitats that dampen wave energy during storms, support local economies and offer areas for fish and other marine life to thrive.
  • And we focus on the need for improved overall governance, policies and management of our oceans at all scales, from individual sites, to regional, national and multinational levels balancing development and conservation needs.

Join us in celebrating all that the oceans provide and the science-based strategies that will help ensure healthy and productive oceans.


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