Mapping Ocean Wealth Explorer

There is a dearth of ocean data from a range of continual monitoring tools and databases maintained by governments and conservation societies. Reconciling the data to form a clear and coherent picture of ocean health is a large challenge, especially when the goal is to make a useful resource for people to learn and become more conscientious of the changes the ocean is experiencing. Mapping Ocean Wealth is a project started by the National Conservancy in 2017 and makes an effort to display data for every area of the planet where data exists on ocean health and habitat. For the Nature Conservancy, the ocean holds such value from its ecological function, tourist appeal, and overall cultural value— so much so that the world’s “wealth” is tied inexorably to it. Users can click on different layers for carbon storage, wetlands, coral reef habitats, restoration sites, marine protected areas, and a number of other categories, specifying what they want to be displayed by region and investigate what data is relevant to a particular ocean or country. The customized view of the map really means that the map can be used by almost anybody with an internet connection and interest in the ocean, and any attempt to amalgamate the vast ocean of marine data is commendable. A possible critique lies in collecting data on indigenous land or traditional area without consent, though whether or not that was a consideration is less clear.

“Mapping Ocean Wealth.” Nature Conservancy. Accessed July 24, 2020.


Data, Psychology