Marine Protected Areas

Marine biodiversity

For decades, the ocean has given us food and the genetic resources we use to produce life-saving drugs. | Credit: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr.

Despite its importance, the ocean remains unprotected in large part; no country governs the high seas, international waters that comprise 64 percent of the ocean’s total surface area. Management measures have given rise to a patchwork of uncoordinated protections.
Reports
Our oceans are collapsing in every sense of the word. In the last hundred years, we have overfished and polluted most every treasured and productive marine and coastal ecosystem in reach. Climate change is now causing its own grave set of marine problems. Yet there is hope: success stories that...Read more
The Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve and the Veracruz Reef System are at risk from the expansion of the Port of Veracruz, authorized by SEMARNAT.Read more
“My Mom Is the Best Lawyer in the World”

Daniela, daughter of our attorney Gladys Martínez, feeds a calf.

“My mom is the best lawyer in the world because she defends the turtles, the corals, the salted forests they have in the sea, and alllll the fish.” As I listened to my 4-year-old daughter, Daniela, say this to an auditorium full of parents, boy and girls, my eyes filled with tears and my heart...
An aerial view of the mangrove ecosystem in Panama Bay, Panama.

Panama Bay, a primitive mangrove ecosystem essential to the fishing industry in Panama and the fight against climate change, had its protected status restored by the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Panama. The court based its ...

On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, the President of Panama will approve a national law that bestows protected-area status on Panama Bay Wetland Wildlife Refuge.Read more

In the Gulf of Mexico, 27 coral reefs form a submarine mountain range that runs between six islands in an area stretching for miles. Hundreds of colorful fish species, sea urchins, starfish, and sea grasses share the reef with an abundance of other life forms. This...

The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recommended a thorough investigation of Mexico’s systemic failure to enforce its environmental law when authorizing the construction of tourism resorts in the Gulf of California, Mexico.Read more
Coral Reefs

Coral reefs, the nurseries of the seas, are vital to the fisheries that provide food for millions of people. Mangrove forests also benefit people: they protect coastal communities from increasingly severe storm surges and help to mitigate climate change by absorbing huge amounts of...

Coral ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico. | Credit: Manuel Victoria.

Colorful fish swim in the Mexican reef. Credit: Manuel Victoria.

In the Gulf of Mexico, 27 coral reefs form a submarine mountain range running for miles between six islands. Hundreds of colorful fish species, sea urchins, starfish, and sea grasses share the reef with an abundance of other life forms. Fishing, sport diving, and beach tourism...