Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy

Our Strategy to Protect the Ocean

The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project is committed to protecting and revitalizing ocean life by supporting the designation and expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs). The project specifically advocates for highly or fully protected MPAs that are designed and managed to achieve the long-term conservation of nature. These areas restrict fishing and other damaging human activity allowing depleted marine populations to recover while protecting key species and vulnerable habitats.

MPAs have the greatest impact when they are fully protected with no extractive activities permitted; well enforced and in place for more than a decade; larger than 100 square kilometers (38 square miles); and in isolated locations.

Research shows that such MPAs benefit people and the planet in myriad ways:

  • Safeguarding biodiversity.
  • Boosting fish populations.
  • Protecting and strengthening connections between Indigenous communities and the natural resources their cultures depend on.
  • Providing ecological benefits to neighboring ecosystems.
  • Supporting a proper predator-prey balance, which helps to maintain ecosystem stability.
  • Strengthening the ocean’s resilience to the impacts of a changing climate.

The Pew Charitable Trusts and Dona Bertarelli created the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, with the shared goal of establishing the first generation of ecologically significant, large, and effective marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. Today, the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project also seeks to connect MPAs and help conserve key migratory species and entire marine ecosystems. These efforts build on more than a decade of work by Pew and the Bertarelli Foundation, led by Dona Bertarelli, to create large-scale highly or fully protected MPAs. Between them, they have helped to obtain designations or commitments to safeguard nearly 12.6 million square kilometers (4.8 million square miles) of ocean by working with communities, local leaders, philanthropic partners, Indigenous groups, government officials, and scientists. Dona Bertarelli is a philanthropist, investor, sportswoman, and strong advocate for ocean conservation. The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems, including the need for effective marine conservation.