The astounding array of biodiversity in our oceans are at the heart of ecosystem health, sustaining the economic vitality and wellbeing of coastal communities and providing a host of benefits we all enjoy. However, according to the United Nations, biodiversity globally is in crisis, as human activities from overfishing to habitat destruction and climate change are causing species losses at an alarming rate. Thus, the Lenfest Ocean Program is supporting a portfolio of projects that address key research and knowledge needs related to Marine Biodiversity in U.S. waters.
Through this portfolio, we aim to elucidate the complex relationships between species and their habitats to help managers, policymakers, and communities make more strategic decisions about conservation, whether it be marine protected areas (MPAs), climate adaptation measures, species protections and more. The core of these projects is collaboration – between scientists, state and federal managers, Indigenous leaders and experts, and stakeholders.