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Protecting marine habitats for future generations


Coastlines and coral reefs are home to a diverse range of species. They also provide food and livelihoods for fishing communities around the world. But these precious natural resources are under immense pressure from pollution, overfishing and climate change.

What is Earthwatch doing?

Earthwatch is helping scientists to fill the gaps in our knowledge about our coastlines and coral reefs, and the species that live there. This will help us understand the impact of climate change and other environmental threats on these habitats. We also develop and test evidence-based solutions to protect our coasts for future generations to enjoy.


Our work

Capturing our Coast

During the Capturing our Coast project from 2016 to 2018, almost 3,000 citizen scientists were trained to carry out detailed surveys of marine life on the UK’s rocky shores. The data they collected is providing scientists with a detailed understanding of the marine life around the UK’s coasts, and will be useful for decades to come.

As a result of the project:

  • Nearly 3,000 volunteers were trained to carry out detailed ecological surveys;
  • 1,800 locations were surveyed across the whole country;
  • More than 275,000 data points were collected during 1,700 survey days;
  • At least 20 scientific publications are planned based upon the data collected; and
  • Volunteers took part in hundreds of organised events, including data collection days and social events.

Find out more about the Capturing our Coasts project.


Coral communities in the Seychelles

Since 2006, Earthwatch has been part of the Global Coral Reef Conservation Project, which is translating cutting-edge science into practical coral management solutions. Most recently, work has focused on ‘coral gardening’ in the Seychelles, where resilient coral types are grown in special underwater nurseries and then introduced back into vulnerable reefs.

Part of our work in this area also focuses on the impact that coral reef degradation has on the fishing communities who depend on coral reefs for their food and their livelihoods. The aim for the project is to increase the resilience of coral reefs, helping to protect them from the effects of climate change and securing their future for marine life and people.

Our partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation has provided training opportunities for local scientists, to help them become the next generation of conservation leaders. The training programmes are focused on socioeconomic research and community engagement, as well as on marine conservation.


Our coral reef conservation work in the Seychelles has led to:

  • More than 12,000 hours of research conducted by over 160 participants;
  • Detailed biodiversity assessments, including the identification of three new species;
  • Nearly 20 scientific publications; and
  • More than 40 local scientists trained in socioeconomic research methods.


Learn more about how Mitsubishi Corporation is helping Earthwatch protect coral reefs in the Seychelles.


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Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1094467.