the ocean's parks and refuges


marine protection by country or ecoregion


the latest MPA campaigns and announcements

Join Our Team This Fall!

The Marine Protected Areas intern will work closely with the MPAtlas.org team to design, construct, and implement improvements to the MPAtlas database, an online resource and mapping tool covering all of the world’s marine protected areas, parks and reserves. The intern will focus on research, data management, and outreach activities. Primary project work will involve research and communication on the latest campaigns to create new marine protected areas – from grass-roots movements to government statements of intent to international commitments and treaties.  Individuals with geographic information system (GIS) experience or programming experience will have the opportunity to contribute to spatial analyses, create maps and visualizations, or develop new online applications related to marine protected areas and conservation issues.

Big Win for the High Seas!


A landmark resolution was adopted in June by a consensus of UN member states, to develop a legally-binding treaty for the conservation of marine life beyond national territorial waters – that area of the ocean shared by all. The resolution formalizes the recommendations made last January by the UN Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group (“UN Working Group”) which was tasked with assessing the feasibility of a new treaty, and signals a major step forward toward convening an intergovernmental negotiating conference that would finalize the terms of the new treaty, possibly in 2018. 

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Hard Fought Fishing Regulations in Biscayne Bay Proposed

Biscayne Bay The National Park Service has unveiled a new general management plan intended to start reversing the decline with a suite of new rules for visitors that will, for the first time, include a controversial “no-fishing” marine reserve.  The plan, 15 years in the making and long mired in tugs-of-war between varied interests, tries to balance protecting the park with finding better ways for the public to enjoy it.

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Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article23137869.html#storylink=cpy

Take Action!

Discover opportunites to support marine conservation efforts and share petitions, comment periods and public meetings.

20% for 2020


The Marine Conservation Institute is joining with Greenpeace, Mission Blue, and Sylvia Earle Alliance to challenge individuals and businesses to share a bold vision for healthy and thriving oceans. We want to protect 20% of the US oceans by 2020! 

Why Marine Protected Areas?

Why MPAs?

Marine protected areas are essential to safeguard biodiversity and to sustain vibrant seas.

Marine protected areas can increase biomass and biodiversity in tropical and temperate ecosystems, as well as serve as insurance policies against the impacts of fishing and other destructive activities. If managed properly, they are an effective way of protecting marine ecosystems along with their cultural and historical heritage for us and future generations.

Learn Why Marine Protected Areas Work

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Explore MPAs

Explore Earth's Marine Protected Areas

  • What is protected where?
  • Find out more about your favorite marine parks and refuges.
  • Determine management jurisdiction and regulations.
Start Exploring

Analyze protection levels.

Marine Protected Area statistics by political or ecological dimensions.

By Nation By Biogeography (coming)

Analyze MPA Protection