Swim up North America’s coast like a whale and you will see its vibrant and diverse life.
Some of the places along the way are marine protected areas that ensure safe passage and abundant food for the planet’s marine animals. These diverse areas also protect an incredible variety of marine life.
Off the Florida coast, the most colourful of these marine protected areas are coral reefs that give food and shelter to hundreds of animals.
Protection keeps the fragile corals healthy and allows fish and other animals to grow in size and numbers.
Along the shoreline of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, the roots of protected mangroves provide a safe place for young fish and crustaceans to feed and mature before heading out into the open ocean.
Above the surface, branches provide a resting place for sea birds migrating along the North American coast.
Off the coast of California, the protection of underwater kelp forests preserves many endangered plants and animals.
Cool, nutrient-rich waters from the north mix with warm currents from the south to form a unique habitat.
Off Canada’s Atlantic coast, marine protected areas teem with deep water marine life, including cold-water corals.
These areas protect unique underwater canyons and the rare animals that live there.
You don’t have to swim far to see that marine protected areas are special places that allow marine life to recover and thrive.