We support healthy and resilient ocean ecosystems that will sustain future generations.

The ocean is a mysterious, productive frontier. For millennia, it has sustained us with food, economic opportunities and recreation. Our experience gives us a connection to the sea’s remarkable web of life, and a profound sense of its power and beauty.

We celebrate these diverse gifts, and also recognize that our marine health is declining – along with its ability to produce food, protect against storms, buffer our changing climate and provide so many other services critical to humans and other species who depend on our shared ocean.

That’s why we are working to achieve healthy and resilient marine ecosystems in the United States and Canada. To that end, through 2024, we are focusing on three of the regions with the greatest ecological value, combined with significant, near-term windows of opportunity for conservation. Our three geographies of focus are:

  • The North American Arctic: exceptionally productive and biologically diverse, but also warming at roughly twice the global average rate. Shrinking ice extent and thinner sea ice not only change ecosystem dynamics, but are also opening more of the Arctic to outsized environmental risks from a handful of potentially harmful industrial activities.
  • British Columbia: home to some of the most productive and relatively healthy, intact ocean ecosystems globally—from coastal estuaries and fjords to deep-water corals and glass sponge reefs. Yet high-impact ocean uses, like marine transportation, threaten to disrupt the connections between ecological and socioeconomic systems that otherwise strengthen and tie communities and ecosystems together.
  • The U.S. West Coast: hosting a vast array of species and ecosystems of high value, supported by a rich current-driven nutrient upwelling. Even with the potential for destructive siting of offshore development and other significant threats to marine life and habitat, key regional opportunities have emerged to safeguard important areas and implement ecosystem-based management.

Beyond these three marine ecosystems, we are also supporting efforts to foster wider engagement, lessons and conditions conducive to long-term, broader scale impacts.

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IMPACT STATEMENT

Promoting healthy, resilient marine ecosystems in the United States and Canada. 

KEY DATA POINTS

North American Coastline

The coastline for the United States and Canada totals more than 220,000 kilometers.
  • first award

    Sep 2004

  • grants to date

    $262,786,366

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