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The life force of our ocean is under threat — how will we respond?

2 million acres destroyed

Lost coastal ecosystems

Due to warmer and more acidic oceans, rising sea levels, overfishing and other threats, as many as 980,000 hectares of coastal ecosystems — an area larger than New York City — is destroyed each year. What’s worse, the 1-to-4-foot sea-level rise expected by 2100 will only intensify the storm surges and erosion ruining the planet’s coral reefs, shoreline forests and tidal wetlands. As these ecosystems are damaged and lost, island nations and coastal communities are most at risk.

3/4 reefs threatened

Protectors under siege

Coral reefs are vibrant metropolises under the sea, home to more than 25 percent of known marine species. They also help coastal communities resist storm surges: During major storm events, reefs act as protective shields for vulnerable shorelines. With the ocean continuing to absorb heat and human-generated carbon dioxide at such an alarming rate — and destructive fishing practices running rampant — virtually all coral reefs could be under threat in the next 30 years.

60% global population affected

Human impact

One out of every seven human beings on Earth lives in a low-lying coastal region, including approximately 500 million people who rely on food sourced from coral reefs. Each year, coral reefs create an estimated US$ 375 billion in tourism-related jobs, food, shoreline protection, even medicine. In the island waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste — a region known as the Coral Triangle — these valuable coastal waters provide a living for one-third of the people.

Guarding coastal ecosystems preserves the livelihoods of millions

Conservation International has made major strides in protecting coastal ecosystems in the tropics — and using the power of nature to help vulnerable coastal communities resist the effects of climate change. Working with governments and communities, we also work to reduce overfishing and destructive fishing practices that threaten local livelihoods and climate resilience.

Keep in Touch

All around the world we are working to safeguard nature – dive in and join us. Sign up for our email list to receive regular updates about our efforts to protect coastal ecosystems.

Thank you for joining!


Help us take the pressure off of our reefs. Your donation enables us to take on critical conservation efforts above and below sea level.