I am excited to announce the release of Marine Conservation Institute’s 2014 Annual Report! From playing a key role in convincing President Barack Obama to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, to driving strong forward momentum with our Global Ocean Refuge System initiative to a multitude of other conservation successes, 2014 will be a hard year to top for Marine Conservation Institute.
In September, we celebrated the huge success of the expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument – the largest area of ocean ever set aside to conserve marine life. Covering nearly half a million square miles of the US Central Pacific Ocean, it is an area larger than California and Texas put together. This area now safeguards spectacular coral reefs, enormous colonies of seabirds and the surrounding ocean ecosystem that is home to tunas, sharks, sea turtles, dolphins and whales.
Our conservation efforts are coming together as we weave our strong science foundation and advocacy experience to look beyond individual designations of marine protected areas at a global system of ocean refuges. Our Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) initiative is designed to catalyze strong protection for at least 20% of the world’s oceans. In 2014 we attended the World Park’s Congress in Sydney, Australia and the International Marine Conservation Congress in Glasgow, Scotland and worked with scientists and conservationists to strengthen GLORES criteria for protected area designation, built support and secured program partners.
You can read about all of our other conversation successes in the Annual Report. Our MPAtlas.org initiative, the world’s most comprehensive online marine protected area visualization tool, continues to track the quantity and quality of protected area progress around the world. Marine Conservation Institute continues to partner with organizations in the US and around the world. We joined efforts with Greenpeace and Mission Blue in 2014 to advocate for protection of the Bering Sea and continued our efforts to protect important habitats and marine life on the high seas.
I hope you enjoy our Annual Report!