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.

Our Work

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  • Dazzling Sea Life of Remote Mexican Isles Needs Protection Now

    In the Pacific Ocean, a few hundred miles south of the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas, four volcanic islands peak above the ocean surface to form the Revillagigedo Archipelago. The uninhabited islands—Socorro, Claríon, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida—and their neighboring seamounts (underwater mountains) together form a critical waypoint on a superhighway of marine life... Read More

  • Our Ocean

    This collection of Pew resources covers a range of ocean issues. Among the topics are efforts to end illegal fishing; to encourage creation of large, fully protected marine reserves around the world, including international waters; and to improve the international management of tuna species. Read More

  • A Proposal to Fully Protect the South Sandwich Islands

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

Media Contact

Kevin Connor

Manager, Communications