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Project

Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy

From the heat of the equator to the deep chills of the North and South poles, the ocean binds the planet together. Making up more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, it is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s known species, many of which still await discovery. But human activities are increasingly threatening its health.

Research shows that large, fully protected marine reserves are a key tool for addressing many challenges to ocean health. Reserves help conserve valuable biodiversity and protect traditional cultures closely linked to the sea.

In 2006, The Pew Charitable Trusts and several partners launched the Global Ocean Legacy project in an effort to establish the world’s first generation of great marine parks. In its 10 years of existence, Global Ocean Legacy helped to obtain commitments to safeguard more than 2.4 million square miles (6.3 million square kilometers) of ocean.

But even with these successes, less than 3 percent of the world’s ocean has strong protections. Recognizing that the International Union for Conservation of Nature recommends we need to protect 30 percent of our oceans, based on the best-available science, Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation have joined forces in a new partnership with the goal of increasing the number of fully protected parks in the sea from nine to 15 by 2022.

Where We Work

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Penguin beach
Penguin beach
Issue Brief

A Proposal to Fully Protect the South Sandwich Islands

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Issue Brief

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) sit about 4,000 kilometres north of Antarctica and 2,700 kilometres east of South America in the South Atlantic Ocean. In 2012, the United Kingdom established a sustainable use marine protected area (MPA) around these largely uninhabited islands to manage the local fishery and protect the globally significant wildlife.

Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy
Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy
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Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project

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The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project builds upon a decade of work by the Global Ocean Legacy campaign that has helped safeguard more than 2.4 million square miles (6.3 million square kilometers) of ocean by working with local communities, governments, scientists, and other stakeholders around the world.

Revillagigedo Archipelago
Revillagigedo Archipelago
Fact Sheet

Revillagigedo Archipelago

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Fact Sheet

Revillagigedo Archipelago

The Revillagigedo Archipelago sits off Mexico’s Pacific coast, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) west of the city of Manzanillo and 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Cabo San Lucas. With its rich ecological and geological landscape, the volcanic island chain was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016.

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Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area

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Easter Island, a territory of Chile that lies some 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) west of that country’s coast, is world famous for its Moai statues, which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now the treasures off the shores of this remote island are safeguarded as well with the creation of the Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2018. The surrounding waters, which contain unique biodiversity, feed the local Rapa Nui people and help them continue centuries-old cultural traditions.

Our Work

Podcast

Our Blue Planet–Protecting the Ocean

Episode 6

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Podcast

Three-quarters of our planet is covered with water—and it’s this water that sustains life. But our liquid planet, home to half of the world’s known creatures and plants, is facing multiple threats, such as overfishing and commercial development. That’s why leading scientists say that 30 percent of our oceans should be protected. Host Dan LeDuc explores why this 30 percent data point is important with two people committed to safeguarding the oceans: native Hawaiian Sol Kaho’ohalahala, whose culture and livelihood depend on sustainable seas; and Matt Rand, who directs the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project and has been working with people like Kaho’ohalahala since 2006 to keep our oceans healthy.