Along some of the world’s most bountiful coastlines, WCS works to safeguard 11 priority seascapes where the last of our ocean giants, coral reefs, and great colonies of sea birds thrive. These vast areas—where barrier reefs may protect shorelines, fishery stocks sustain human and wildlife communities, and migratory species like sea turtles and whales come to rear their young—are integral to both people and nature. Addressing the complex relationships between the ecosystems of the sea, coast, and areas inland, WCS links marine and land management initiatives in comprehensive conservation strategies. These strategies are the backbone of such WCS projects as the Sea & Sky initiative to protect Argentina’s Southwest Atlantic, and our work in the coastal forests and shallow waters of Madagascar’s Antongil Bay.
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Antongil Bay is one of the most important breeding grounds for humpback whales. Thirteen species of shark swim its waters.
The world’s largest population of leatherback turtles nests on Gabon and Congo beaches, and humpback whales breed in the waters.
Located at the heart of the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere, this seascape nurtures rays, turtles, and sharks. Nassau grouper gather here in massive numbers to spawn.
Located in the middle of the Java Sea, Karimunjawa National Park was re-zoned to accommodate the needs of wildlife and local people.
Kenya’s marine ecosystems range from mangroves and coastal wetlands to lagoons, fringing coral reefs, and open ocean.
Local communities manage this seascape in the Coral Triangle through traditional ownership rights to land and sea.
New York’s waters encompass an extraordinary array of habitats that shelter migratory whales, sea turtles, sharks, and seabirds.
This wild, remote expanse provides critical feeding and breeding habitat for penguins, elephant seals, and southern right whales.
The North Sulawesi-Halmahera seascape is located in the heart of the spectacular Coral Triangle.
Sea turtles rely on nesting and feeding habitats in offshore waters and on island beaches along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.
This coastal region supports a seascape of barrier and fringing coral reefs, shallow lagoons, and abyssal slopes.
Thriving schools of fish, sharks, and turtles swim Fiji’s vibrant reefs. As coastal populations grow, Fiji is finding new ways to conserve marine resources.
Northwestern Sumatra’s coral reefs teem with fish, including the rare and unusual megamouth shark.
From the Newsroom
Coral reef fisheries expert Dr. Tim McClanahan highlights the resilience of coral reefs and the conservation efforts that will help them adapt to changing conditions.
In a survey of the Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean, due south of the Maldives, marine scientists found a huge array and high numbers of fish. The area was declared a no-take zone just a few years ago.
Reflecting on the American Museum of Natural History’s captivating new whale exhibition, Dr. Howard Rosenbaum, director of WCS’s Ocean Giants program, describes the challenges these beloved, but troubled creatures face in today’s oceans.