Beaches & Coasts

Beaches & Coasts

Vacations and beaches are practically synonymous. Stretches of pristine coastline provide the perfect setting to relax and unwind, so it’s no surprise that beaches are among the planet’s most popular tourism destinations. In fact, 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas.

But the high visitor appeal of beaches can threaten these critical ecosystems and contribute to their decline. We seek to balance tourism growth in coastal areas to preserve both the environmental health and attractiveness of these beloved destinations.

Family sitting on beach

Coastal Habitats

Beyond being a tourist hotspot, coastal destinations also serve as important wildlife habitats. Beaches provide homes for sand-dwelling critters like crabs and clams. Their sandy shores also act as nesting grounds where sea turtles and shorebirds come to lay their eggs.

Even the grasses and shrubs that grow along coastlines play an important ecological role. The roots and leaves of these plants help prevent beach erosion and ocean pollution. Mangroves are an especially beneficial type of coastal vegetation due to their ability to store even more carbon than terrestrial forests.

Explore the Issues

Tourism can actually contribute to the degradation of the beautiful beaches that visitors love.  Unregulated coastal development may lead to coastal erosion and habitat destruction, while actions by tourists and businesses can harm local wildlife. Click below to learn more about the different issues that we’re addressing to protect these sensitive ecosystems.

Destructive Coastal Development
When resorts and other infrastructure is built too close to the shore it can trigger coastal erosion and destroy important habitats.

Destructive Coastal Development

Beach Litter & Debris
When tourists or others leave their rubbish on the beach it can endanger local wildlife and spoil the natural beauty of iconic destinations.

Beach Litter & Debris

Harmful Wildlife Interactions
Unsustainable behavior by tourists or tourism businesses can pose a risk to coastal animals and habitats.

Harmful Wildlife Interactions

Overtourism
When too many tourists flock to the beach it degrades the visitor experience and disturbs coastal wildlife.

Overtourism

How We Safeguard Nature

Discover what we’re doing to protect beaches and minimize tourism’s impacts on nature and wildlife.

Stay Connected

Get our email updates to see how we’re protecting our planet’s most vulnerable and treasured destinations