We need Blue Parks to safeguard marine biodiversity.

How It Works

The Marine Conservation Institute launched the Blue Park initiative to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. The Blue Park 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 Park initiative 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 Park Awards incentivize MPAs that meet science-based standards for effectiveness.

The Blue Park initiative 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, the Blue Park initiative 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. The Blue Park provides a scientifically credible designation for marine protected areas that integrates marine ecology principles such as biogeography, ecological spatial connectivity and resilience.

Second, the Blue Park initiative 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 Park 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, the Blue Park initiative integrates management and monitoring effectiveness into its standards.

Lastly, and very significantly, Blue Park Awards 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.