Earthjustice is working to restore our oceans to protect both the extraordinary wildlife that relies on a healthy ocean and the communities around the world whose livelihoods and cultures are inextricably tied to the sea.
But while the international community struggles with this challenge in the coming decades, scientists widely agree that we must do what we can now to limit harmful human activities, like overfishing and pollution, to build the ocean’s resilience to warmer and more acidic waters. Building resilience is the best, perhaps only, way to ensure that marine biodiversity survives.
Seventy-five percent of corals face high to critical threat levels. These reefs, often called the "rainforests of the sea," support a quarter of all marine life.
Earthjustice is building resilience to climate change by:
- Ending the overfishing of at-risk species. On the east coast, we’re working to stop the overfishing of species such as cod, haddock and flounder. In the Caribbean, we’re seeking greater protections for parrotfish, which play a key role in promoting the health of coral reefs. In California, we’re working to protect forage fish like anchovies and sardines, which serve as the building blocks of the ocean food web.
- Reducing pollution like sewer and agricultural runoff and cruise ship pollution in places like Washington State's Puget Sound, Florida's coastal waterways, Washington, D.C.’s Chesapeake Bay, and California’s San Francisco Bay.
- Helping to establish Marine Protected Areas and forge international agreements to protect biodiversity in the high seas.
- Fighting offshore drilling in biologically critical areas, like the Arctic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
- Advising the Alliance of Small Island States and the Pacific Small Island Developing States as they champion international efforts to build marine resilience. These island nations rely on healthy reefs for storm defense and for their local livelihoods, which depend on income from fisheries and tourism. Much of the world's marine biodiversity lies within their waters, so their global leadership is critical.