30x30 Ocean Accelerator

A Catalyst for Ocean Protection

WCS is launching the 30x30 Ocean Accelerator to advance the historic goal of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

We aim to achieve sustainable and equitable ocean protection wins in the world’s most important coastal areas for marine biodiversity and for communities.

We strategically direct funding and unlock partnerships where it is needed most: to critical ecosystems and species and to local communities on the frontlines of protecting the waters they call home.


Our Goal

Our goal is to secure 500,000 km2 of new protected areas in coastal seas, support communities and governments to maintain management of over 130 existing MPAs, and help countries equitably achieve their 2030 targets.

The Opportunity

Marine protected areas (MPAs) and Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) are proven solutions to support our oceans, the wellspring of all life on earth and a critical source of food security, biodiversity, and climate regulation.

Ocean ecosystems cover more than 70% of Earth’s surface, but only about 8% of waters are legally protected. Without protection, we have seen the results: commercial overfishing, pollution, and resource extraction that destabilizes marine ecosystems.

In 2022, nearly 200 nations finalized the “30x30” global target to protect 30% of the world’s ocean and land areas by 2030. The landmark agreement is vital toward building biodiverse, productive, and resilient future. However, many governments remain without the resources and capacity to successfully implement this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the challenges facing the world’s oceans.

With a consistent focus on supporting the knowledge and needs of local leaders, the 30x30 Ocean Accelerator will offer much-needed support to scale up protections and catalyze long-term wins for coastal communities to thrive.

Photo Credit: ©Björn Svensson

Our Strategy


We work hand-in-hand with governments and communities to achieve ambitious commitments for new protected areas.

By 2030, all 26 countries where we work will have committed to an ambitious 2030 target.


We make good on commitments by creating and expanding new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs).

By 2030, half a million km2 of additional ocean area will be protected.


Ensure sustainability of new and existing protected areas by providing the financing, tools, and technologies community groups and governments need to manage their MPAs and OECMs.

By 2030, more than 130 protected areas will be supported and effectively managed.

Where We Work

We work with community leaders across 26+ countries through tailored, locally-resonant strategies.

In the News

Ocean Accelerator to Advance Commitment to Protect 30% of Oceans by 2030

WCS has one of the world’s largest conservation programs with on-the-ground, practically oriented teams in countries around the world working with governments, local communities and Indigenous Peoples.

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New MPA Around Saint Martin's Island in Bangladesh

The Government of Bangladesh declared a new marine protected area spanning 1,743 square kilometers (672 square miles). These productive waters teem with biodiversity.

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Cuba Names East Los Colorados Archipelago as MPA

This new MPA covers about half of one of the four major archipelagos surrounding the country, and hosts exceptional marine life including Antillean manatees, American crocodiles, and critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtles.

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New MPA in Colombia Safeguards Important Coastal Ecosystems

Isla Ají, spanning 246 square kilometers (95 square miles), helps to safeguard local fisheries critically important to livelihoods and wellbeing of local communities

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Republic of Congo Announces Country's First MPAs

The 3 MPAs will protect marine resources and coastal habitats across more than 4,000 square kilometers (1,544 square miles).

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New Marine Protected Areas in Guatemala

At the UN’s Ocean Conference, the government pledged the expansion and declaration of coastal-marine protected areas. The Cañón de San José and Mar del Oeste are the largest.

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