We need Blue Parks to safeguard marine biodiversity.

How It Works

Marine Conservation Institute launched Blue Parks to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. The Blue Parks initiative is an innovative strategy to incentivize decision makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for sustainable tourism. We invite you to join us on our journey to secure lasting conservation for our oceans. 

The Challenge

Healthy oceans are essential to human survival and prosperity. Unfortunately, oceans are in deep trouble worldwide due to overfishing, climate change, industrialization, pollution and habitat destruction. These problems are rapidly getting worse, and our oceans are in a state of crisis.

A Global Network of Effective Marine Protected Areas

The Blue Parks network aims to safeguard marine biodiversity by assembling a strategic network of effective marine protected areas (MPAs) that includes replicate representation of all marine habitats in each biogeographic region and supports marine population persistence.

Blue Parks Awards incentivize MPAs that meet science-based standards for effectiveness.

Blue Parks supports MPA efforts around the world, complementing the advocacy of conservation groups working to implement MPAs and meet international MPA commitments.

Becoming a Blue Park is a 4-step process.

Designed to greatly expand the number and efficacy of marine protected areas, Blue Parks complements on-the-ground conservation efforts. The core elements are:

First, the science-based standards for Blue Parks are the product of a partnership among marine biologists and conservationists from across the globe and across sectors. Blue Parks provides a scientifically credible designation for marine protected areas that integrates marine ecology principles such as biogeography, ecological spatial connectivity and resilience.

Second, Blue Parks provides a comprehensive, global conservation framework. Many organizations are creating marine protected areas one at a time, focusing on the objectives of an individual site, but not necessarily on recovering populations or maintaining the ocean’s resilience to future threats. The Blue Parks initiative advances and connects these efforts by providing a roadmap for integrating existing efforts and conserving ecologically important areas and representative habitats within one system.

Third, working with partners, such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Blue Parks integrates management and monitoring effectiveness into its standards.

Lastly, and very significantly, Blue Parks provide a substantial incentive for marine protection by publicly celebrating the outstanding conservation work of communities and managers. The award, which confers prestige, funding leverage and ecotourism opportunities, aligns governments' interests with biodiversity conservation. Blue Park status also provides a benchmark that both private and governmental funders can use to measure the impacts of their investments.