Advocate for Healthy Oceans

Everyone, everywhere on Earth needs healthy oceans, but the key decisions are made by people in governments, the United Nations and other governing institutions.

Using the scientific insights we gather, analyze and discuss every day, Marine Conservation Institute advocates policies to protect and recover healthy, diverse, productive oceans for all of us, now and in future generations.

We seek out policy makers that can make a difference, and help them understand they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

Lawmakers and officials listen to us because they know that the latest science shapes everything we do. All of our recommendations are based on our best understanding of how our living oceans and our societies work.

And they listen to us because they know we listen to them, to ocean users and scientists. We listen so we can fashion workable solutions in which all people win.

We care not only about the oceans themselves, but for the billions of people—everyone on Earth—whose life depends on healthy oceans.

Working to benefit corals, fishes and whales, things people love and things people scarcely know, is essential to protecting our economy, our jobs, our health and security because they’re all tied to the Earth’s biggest life support system. Protecting this life support system is our gift to this and future generations.

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Current Focus: The Trump Administration's Impact on our Oceans

The Marine Conservation Institute is closely following how the Trump Administration affects marine conservation and policy. Since taking office, President Trump has issued two Executive Orders, 13792 and 13793, that may have a huge impact on our oceans. 

E.O. 13792 calls for a review of all monuments larger than 100,000 acres that have been designated since 1996, including Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the Pacific Remote Islands (PRIMNM) and Rose Atoll (RAMNM) marine national monuments. The implication of this review is that some monuments were designated without adequate public input and do not meet the scientific, cultural and historical standards of the Antiquities Act.

We know that this idea is wrong: the Pacific monuments have long conservation histories and the majority of the public in Hawaii and the continental U.S. strongly support their designations. There is also strong backing from the U.S. scientific community. On June 15, 2017, the Marine Conservation Institute submitted a letter from 535 marine, climate, and other scientists that supported the creation of marine reserves like PRIMNM and RAMNM. These areas are some of the Earth’s richest ecological treasures and they sustain an abundance of coral, fish, shellfish, marine mammal, bird, insect, and plant species. Both President Bush and President Obama supported these monuments because of their incredible value to our country and ocean. The Marine Conservation Institute stands with other NGOs, Senators, and over two million citizens in asking the Trump Administration to protect the Marine National Monuments under review.

E.O. 13793 starts the process of opening up vast areas of the Arctic ocean and Atlantic seaboard that had been placed off limits to offshore drilling by President Obama and orders that any marine sanctuaries created or expanded in the last ten years be reviewed. The sanctuaries must prove they have public support and are in danger of revocation if they have any oil, gas or minerals that might be extracted from them. Bipartisan Presidential efforts to protect these places are now in grave jeopardy. We must protect our public land and oceans; these places are too valuable to be opened back up for drilling, industrial development and extraction.

We will keep fighting for our marine monuments and sanctuaries as the Trump Administration stages its unprecedented attack on the ocean and our nation's coastline.