Who We Are

Our Mission

Marine Conservation Institute is dedicated to securing permanent, strong protection for the oceans’ most important places – for us and future generations.


The ocean is the Earth’s biggest life support system — the oxygen for every second breath we take comes from it. Healthy marine ecosystems are essential for human survival, wealth and well-being. As a leader in the global movement to protect vast ocean areas, Marine Conservation Institute uses the latest science to identify important marine ecosystems and advocate for their protection.

We work with scientists, politicians, government officials and other organizations to build workable solutions to pressing ocean issues. Our unique effectiveness comes from our vision, expertise and our willingness to partner with others. Since starting as the vision of one person in 1996, Marine Conservation Institute has become a major player in the effort to save our blue planet.

Our priority is to help create an urgently-needed worldwide system of highly protected areas—the Blue Park Awards —as a strategic way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. To enhance marine protection efforts in the U.S. and around the globe, we also built and maintain the world’s most comprehensive online marine protected area database, the Atlas of Marine Protection.

We are an active member of the High Seas Alliance, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and National Ocean Protection Coalition, working to defend and advance marine protection at home and abroad. Our work in the California Seamounts Coalition leads efforts to protect vital deep-sea habitats off the California coast. This work builds on our decade-long efforts at conserving coral ecosystems. We also model deep-sea habitats and research their ecosystems to promote protection for these fragile, hard-to-find living treasures.

Given the environmental challenges facing our blue planet, accomplishing our mission is more important now than ever before. Become an Ocean Guardian or make a donation to help ensure our oceans remain healthy and strong for generations to come.