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Project

Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy

From the heat of the equator to the North and South poles, the ocean binds the planet together, supporting communities, maritime industries, and most life on Earth.

Covering more than 70 percent of the planet, the ocean regulates the weather, produces 70 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere, and is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s known species—and many that still await discovery.

But the marine ecosystem is ailing because of problems that include overfishing, plastic pollution, climate change, ocean acidification, and marine debris.

Studies consistently show that large, fully protected marine reserves protect biodiversity, safeguard traditional cultures closely linked to the sea, and allow plant and animal species to recover, all of which benefit areas far beyond the boundaries of the protected areas.

But less than 4 percent of the world’s ocean is covered by strong safeguards, far short of the 30 percent recommended by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation have partnered to increase the number of fully protected parks in the sea from nine to 15 by 2022, which will help restore our ocean’s health to the benefit of all life on Earth.

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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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.