The Pacific waters along the U.S. West Coast feature rich habitats and diverse species that contribute to some of the most vibrant ecosystems and economies on Earth. Eelgrass beds and kelp forests provide food and refuge for a diversity of wildlife, including many of the most important commercial fish species, while also filtering pollutants from coastal waters, absorbing climate-warming carbon, and stabilizing the shoreline. Tidepools rich with invertebrate life are an integral part of the marine food web. And rocky coastal areas offer crucial nesting areas for a variety of seabirds. This environment draws millions of visitors each year who explore, fish, surf, paint, take photos, walk on the beach, fly a kite, or take in a sunset, supporting a thriving tourism industry vital to many coastal communities.
Pew promotes sustainable fisheries management in California state waters and supports precautionary closures to seabed mining of nearshore areas in California and Washington, as Oregon did decades ago. Pew also works to reduce bycatch that results from the use of indiscriminate fishing gear, such as large-mesh drift gillnets and shallow-set longlines, and to conserve forage fish as critical prey for marine wildlife.