Marine ecosystems suffer from human activity no less than large woods and lush fields. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 95 percent of the ocean is yet unexplored, but the remaining five percent have already become an easy target for poachers and unregistered fisheries. Fossil fuel drilling is another threat to the coastal population and ecosystems. Oil and gas exploration in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico are reported to continue despite the concerns of environmentalists. In 2016, the Obama administration did not allow drilling in the oldest beach resorts of Virginia, Georgia, and Carolina, however, the drilling industry occupies a significant area of the US coast.
Conservation of marine resources is a core goal to NOAA. This governmental agency has created 13 national marine sanctuaries along the US coast to prevent areas of exceptional biological importance from overfishing. Sanctuaries are a popular destination for travelers as they provide recreational activities in the most beautiful and untouched areas of the US. NOAA regularly involves volunteers to preserve the integrity of marine sanctuaries. Besides, the administration empowers sustainable fisheries. Fish stock management concerns rebuilding stocks that suffered from overfishing in order to preserve the diversity of marine life. NOAA practices confirm that fisheries can be profitable and sustainable at the same time.
Protection of coral reefs is an inevitable part of every marine ecosystems conservation plan. Coral reef systems all over the world are protected from the harmful impact of humans by domestic laws of the countries they belong to. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest of them; it belongs to the World Heritage and it is called one of the seven natural wonders of the world.