Center for American Progress

To Conserve the Ocean, Start With the People Who Live There

One of the main ways that the United States preserves its oceans is through the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs have been a huge part of the Biden administration’s “America the Beautiful” initiative and its accompanying 30×30 goal. However, in a very unequal distribution of protection, 96 percent of U.S. MPAs are in the Western Central Pacific Ocean. Additionally, although many of these protected waters are in the U.S. Pacific territories, the American citizens living there have not been given the resources—nor been brought in in equal partnership to manage—these places.

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Angelo Villagomez

Senior Fellow

Margaret Cooney

Campaign Manager


Ala Al Sadi

Former Video Producer

Madalyn Reagan

Video Intern

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative


Conservation Policy

We work to protect our lands, waters, ocean, and wildlife to address the linked climate and biodiversity crises. This work helps to ensure that all people can access and benefit from nature and that conservation and climate investments build a resilient, just, and inclusive economy.

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