thriving ocean economy

An Ocean of Jobs

Ocean Conservancy is working to support the millions whose lives and livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean.

Shrimp Trawlers in Freeport, Texas - The shrimping industry is vital to coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by: Sara Thomas / Ocean Conservancy

America’s coasts provide millions of jobs for communities across the country and serve as a vital engine to our nation’s economy.

The ocean-dependent economy generated more than $222 billion in 2009. And every year, commercial and recreational fisheries nationwide employ 1.9 million workers.

Ocean Conservancy is working to keep our coastal communities strong and vibrant by promoting smart, sustainable uses of our ocean and coasts, including:

Thriving Coastal Communities

Our work is bringing a real benefit to the millions of people who earn their living from the ocean.

In California we helped create the first statewide network of marine protected areas. These underwater parks serve as nurseries for fish, increasing fish populations outside of the protected areas and benefiting commercial and recreational fishermen alike. 

In the Gulf of Mexico, we are restoring the health of fish populations to support and enhance the region’s estimated $22.6 billion seafood, commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Across the globe, we are supporting a network of volunteers to clean our beaches, which helps protect coastal tourism economies. Millions of visitors frequent special ocean places to enjoy their favorite coastal activities, including surfing, diving, kayaking and tide-pooling.

A Future for Fish and Fishermen

Commercial and recreational fishing are the lifeblood of many coastal communities. Ocean Conservancy is working every day to ensure a bright future for fish—and fishermen.

Overfishing—taking too many fish and leaving too few to reproduce— threatens a healthy ocean and the coastal communities and global economy that depend on them. We are actively working to prevent overfishing, rebuild depleted fisheries hurt by overfishing and sustain healthy fish populations for the good of both current and future fishermen.

Plans drawn from sound science, proven policies and collaboration with the fishing industry are now in place to promote future generations of fish for everyone to enjoy. These plans are working and increasing the size and number of fish in the ocean. Red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico show what success can look like. But we can’t stop now, we need to stay the course.

Powering the Future of Our Coastal Economy

Ocean Conservancy is leading efforts for smart, sensible ways to streamline the management of our ocean and coasts, strengthening economic activity while still supporting smart, common sense environmental protections.

Today’s ocean faces an era of unprecedented activity—wind farms and energy facilities, commercial fishing, recreation, offshore drilling and shipping superhighways all compete for a stake in the ocean. Smart science and planning are the only way to maximize what we get from the ocean while preserving sustainability and avoiding conflicts among users.

Join Ocean Conservancy as we enhance the health of coastal communities and support the millions whose lives and livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean.

Join the Fight for a Healthy Ocean

Help keep the ocean healthy for sea turtles, polar bears, whales and people like you.


A Thriving Ocean Economy

Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean for those who depend on it to make their living. We’re working to secure sustainable fishing and a robust tourist industry.

Smart Choices for a Healthy Ocean

Comprehensive ocean planning maximizes our resources for commerce, recreation and conservation.

Ocean Conservancy makes careful use of your support, and holds high ratings from charity watchdogs.
BBB Accredited Charity Charity Navigator - your guide to intelligent giving