Every second breath we take is courtesy of the ocean, and marine species play a vital role in supporting all life on Earth – but every day ocean wildlife face an increasingly urgent threat: humans.
Life began in the ocean and the seas cover nearly three quarters of our planet’s surface. Yet, the striking and abundant marine biodiversity of the world’s oceans are collapsing, largely driven by anthropogenic – human-driven – factors. Our global campaigns work tirelessly to safeguard and protect vulnerable marine species from unsustainable human activities including industrial fishing, overfishing, plastic pollution and climate change.
All six species of sea turtles found in the United States are endangered. With up to one million species facing extinction in the next century, sea turtles and other marine wildlife are especially threatened by industrial fishing, climate change, plastic pollution, environmental rollbacks, and habitat loss. Turtle Island Restoration Network addresses these threats using a conservation toolkit spanning hands-on conversation, community-based habitat restoration, advocacy for sound environmental policies and regulatory action, grassroots organizing, promotion of marine wildlife “swimways” and protected areas, outreach and volunteerism, and innovative climate change adaptation efforts.
We have witnessed unprecedented environmental rollbacks during the Trump administration that prevent protections for marine wildlife and threaten the resiliency of all marine species. Our plan for saving marine species in the coming years focuses on addressing the following significant threats: reducing the capture of vulnerable marine wildlife by driftnet, longline and shrimp fisheries; removing and recycling plastic pollution from beaches and oceans, and studying the impacts of microplastics on marine wildlife and habitats; strengthening resilience of endangered marine wildlife populations against impacts; and protect key biodiversity habitats in the Northern Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Tropical Pacific.
While many of our species-saving programs require political will and leadership from governments and industry, we are far from powerless. Each and every conservation steward can take bold individual and collective action to help protect and save marine species, and fight for the oceans that sustain all life on Earth.