‘Life in the Ocean Touches Everyone’: U.S. Rolls Out First National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy

Underwater photo of a pink and gold coral reef in bright blue water, with small blue and yellow fish. A blurry reflection of the reef appears in the water at the top of the photo.

A coral reef at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, in the tropical Pacific Ocean. (Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Strategy Calls for Evidence-Based Protections, Stronger Information Pipeline and Greater Attention to Local and Indigenous Knowledge

Roughly 2 million species live in the world’s ocean. But scientists have only described a mere 10% of them. With extinctions on the rise and biodiversity threatened worldwide, many species are in danger of vanishing before researchers can identify them or fully grasp the benefits they provide.

The National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy calls for a stronger, more unified and inclusive approach to ocean conservation. Written by a team led by the Smithsonian and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the strategy was announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on June 3. It represents the first nationwide strategy aimed at changing course to save marine life and all the services it provides to people. The plan seeks to improve scientists’ ability to gather and share knowledge and use that knowledge for more effective protections.

Read the full release and access the strategy here.


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