The ocean covers nearly three-fourths of the globe and is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s known species, with countless yet to be discovered. The ocean helps support more than 250 million people who depend directly or indirectly on fishing for their livelihoods, and provides the main source of animal protein to more than 2.6 billion people.
The ocean plays an essential role in sustaining life on our planet, but human activities are increasingly threatening its health. Research shows that very large, fully protected marine reserves are key to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and protecting the overall health of the marine environment.
Global Ocean Legacy, a project of Pew and its partners, is working with local communities, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments.
Together we are establishing the world’s first generation of great marine parks by securing the designation of large, fully protected reserves. To date, our efforts have helped to safeguard 5.2 million square kilometers of ocean—an area 10 times the size of Central America.
Proposal for an Austral Islands marine reserve
From Palau to Easter Island, a visual tour of the major gains in ocean conservation
Our WorkView All
Narrated by Dr. Sylvia Earle, Voices from the Sea (Voces del mar) is a 40-minute documentary that tells the story of the Rapa Nui’s efforts to develop a proposal for one of the world’s largest protected areas of ocean. Read More
A diverse group of Pacific island community leaders launched the Island Voices last September to share ideas and best practices on their efforts to protect the ocean on which they depend for their livelihoods, sustenance, and traditional ways of life. Read More
The five inhabited islands of French Polynesia’s Austral archipelago—Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae, and Rapa—have come together to propose to the central government in Tahiti that a large, highly protected marine reserve be created in their waters. Read More
Where We Work
Global Ocean Legacy works with local communities, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments.