SeaStates: How much of the ocean is strongly protected?

SeaStates G20 2018

The G20 member countries are the most financially able countries in the world; collectively their economies account for approximately 85% of the gross world product and 80% of world trade. Yet, with a few exceptions, their commitment to protecting their coastal waters is lacking, and capacity is clearly not the issue. With looming deadlines by 2020 from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) calling on countries to meet and exceed targets of 10% of marine areas to be conserved through effectively managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas by 2020, the rest of the world is surely looking at the conservation performance of wealthy G20 countries. How do the countries with our world’s nineteen largest economies in addition to the EU compare as leaders in marine conservation and have they kept their standing promises to protect our oceans? They have the means, are they doing their part?


SeaStates US 2017

While there had been significant conservation progress in US waters under the Bush and Obama administrations, the current outlook for more progress is dim. Even more disturbingly, we face losing much of the progress made under the past several administrations as Trump and his appointees work to repeal regulations and remove environmental protections. There are existing recommendations to either alter the boundaries or open up areas to commercial fishing within three marine monuments. Without meaningful protection from commercial fishing, recreational use and oil and mining activity, these areas will become “paper parks” that provide no further conservation value than unprotected areas. Opening these areas to commercial fishing would cut America’s strongly protected marine area in half.


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SeaStates US 2016

There has been significant conservation progress, but most of this has been achieved in our remote, tropical and sub-tropical Pacific waters, while securing strong marine protection for coastal waters of the continental US remains slow with less than 1% strongly protected. See how individual states and territories and larger US marine regions stack up against each other.


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Dare to be Deep - SeaStates North America 2016

Published in advance of World Oceans Day in June, 2016, this joint report by US-based Marine Conservation Institute with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and colleagues in Mexico shows how much of the ocean surrounding North America is strongly protected by all three nations.


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SeaStates US 2015

How Much of Your Ocean Is Your State Protecting?

Third annual report takes a critical look at the how well US states are strongly protecting our oceans.

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SeaStates G20 2014

Published for the 10th World Parks Congress in the fall of 2014, this report shows how much of our ocean is strongly protected by the world's biggest economies.


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SeaStates US 2015

How Much of Your Ocean Is Your State Protecting?

Third annual report takes a critical look at the how well US states are strongly protecting our oceans.

View interactive website and download report


SeaStates US 2014

How Much of Your Ocean Is Your State Protecting?

Second annual report takes a critical look at the how well US states are strongly protecting our oceans.

View interactive website and download report


SeaStates US 2013

How Much of Your Ocean Is Your State Protecting

Inaugural report takes a critical look at the how well US states are strongly protecting our oceans.

View interactive website and download report.