Oceans & Reefs

© Jayne Jenkins / Coral Reef Image Bank

Oceans & Reefs

Oceans and reefs are some of our planet’s most vibrant natural attractions.  Some of the world’s most fascinating species – from humongous whales to tiny seahorses – call these waters home. In addition to harboring immense biodiversity, healthy oceans and reefs are an essential source of food and income for people around the world.

The combination of spectacular marine life, delicious seafood, and diverse recreational opportunities draws visitors to even the most remote seaside destinations. While marine tourism creates valuable income for local communities, it can also pose a threat to underwater habitats and wildlife. We’re working to transform tourism’s impacts on our planet’s oceans and reefs to safeguard the incredible wealth they provide for nature and mankind.

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More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in ocean water

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Over 3 billion people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods

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Nearly 200,000 known species live below the ocean’s surface

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A square kilometer of healthy coral reef can yield 5-10 tons of fish per year

Marine Tourism

A staggering 350 million people travel to the world’s coral reef coasts each year. There are countless ways that travelers can explore our planet’s oceans and reefs – from diving and snorkeling to sailing and surfing. The seas also provide delicious seafood which is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.

While marine adventures excite and inspire, they also provide important benefits for local communities. Marine tourism supports local jobs, such as surf instructors and dive guides. It also generates visitor spending at nearby hotels, restaurants, and other establishments. Marine tourism fees can even subsidize conservation and help fund marine protected areas. All in all, coral reef tourism generates over $36 billion in economic revenue each year.

Explore the Issues

The fate of our oceans and reefs is in jeopardy. Climate change has resulted in devastating impacts for marine ecosystems, such as coral bleaching and disease. Careless tourists, haphazard coastal development, and pollution from tourism will only lead to the further destruction of these critical marine habitats. Click below to learn more about the different issues that we’re addressing.

Litter & Pollution
Ocean debris and pollution generated by tourism poses a grave threat to marine animals and environments.

Litter & Pollution

Climate Change
Climate change is causing ocean temperatures to rise, leading to coral bleaching and endangering our planet’s marine life.

Climate Change

Overfishing
Tourism can fuel the exploitation of fish and other marine resources, which are harvested for food or to make souvenirs.

Overfishing

Harmful Wildlife Interactions
Careless behavior by tourists or tourism businesses can pose a risk to coral reefs and marine creatures.

Harmful Wildlife Interactions

Destructive Tourism Development
The construction of coastal tourism infrastructure can destroy coral reefs and disturb marine wildlife.

Destructive Tourism Development

How We Safeguard Nature

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

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