Protecting 30% of our blue planet by 2030

Efforts by aquariums, zoos, museums and others to help ocean animals like this sea turtle just got a big boost with today’s announcement of a new national goal to protect at least 30% of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030!

The Ocean Project applauds President Biden’s action today to establish a national goal of protecting at least 30% of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030, and pursue a process for engaging a broad set of stakeholders.  We encourage all who read this blog to join with us in sharing your support on social media using #Protect30x30.

The U.S. joins more than 50 countries that have made similar commitments to “30×30.” And the importance of these commitments  for the future of our shared world ocean cannot be overstated.

In his inaugural address, President Biden said “the cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.”  That is certainly the case for the ocean, which has become warmer, more acidic and more polluted, with devastating consequences for animals and people alike. Furthermore, the pace of these changes, unfortunately, has been accelerating.

The commitments to 30×30 will not solve all of the ocean’s or our blue planet’s problems, but they are important steps in the right direction.  These commitments will lead to the protection of essential ocean habitats, as well as the fish and all other ocean animals that call those habitats “home.” The commitments go far to help combat climate change and keep global temperatures in check.

Moreover, the proposed approach to achieving 30×30 marks an important opportunity for the world to turn towards a more inclusive and equitable vision for nature conservation.  For too long, the costs and impacts of the loss of nature have fallen disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color.  In reaching a 30×30 goal, we could help ensure that everyone –no matter their economic status, race, or ethnicity – has access to the natural world.

The goal of 30×30 is ambitious, but also achievable, nationally and globally. We are encouraged by the action taken today by the Biden Administration, and hopeful that as more and more countries commit to protecting at least 30% of the ocean and lands by 2030, we will be able to leave a legacy of a healthy vibrant ocean, and ensure that the awe and wonder the ocean has inspired in us can be shared with future generations.

By the way, stay tuned for an announcement very soon about the World Ocean Day 2021 Conservation Action Focus, which will build upon our push for 30×30 last year, in which World Ocean Day helped spotlight this issue and opportunity, and unite the world to collaboratively grow the global movement for safeguarding 30% of our blue planet by 2030.