The oceans are vitally important to human health. However, there are a multitude of problems—rising temperatures, ocean noise, and habitat destruction—threatening the health of ecosystems in today’s global oceans.

Researchers at the Anderson Cabot Center lead projects and initiatives with partners to reduce human impacts on oceans and increase ecosystem resilience in a changing climate.

  1. Our Strategy

    We are increasing ecosystem resilience through a multifaceted approach:

    • Investigating the acute and chronic health implications of human impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and discerning which stressors are most detrimental and in need of remediation
    • Partnering with industry stakeholders to create solutions that improve ocean health and maintain viability
    • Reducing cumulative human impacts on marine species and ecosystems
    • Pioneering techniques to measure species and ecosystem health
  2. Key Successes

    Anderson Cabot Center scientists influence conservation outcomes by:

    • Protecting more than 20 shark species in the Atlantic Ocean by helping shape management regulations and fisheries management
    • Protecting 162,500 square miles of ocean—about the size of California—through helping to establish key Marine Protected Areas in the Pacific and North Atlantic
    • Partnerning with NGOs, industry, state, and federal agencies to reduce wind farm impacts on endangered whales, turtles, and seabirds
  3. Future Goals

    To protect marine animals and improve ecosystem health, the Anderson Cabot Center is focusing on:

    • Influencing the construction and operations of wind farms in the waters off the U.S. East Coast
    • Decreasing ship strikes by 90% to reduce right whale mortality in newly identified whale habitats
    • Creating a 40,000-square-mile safe zone for protected marine species by minimizing shipping, noise, seismic and wind energy impacts throughout coastal New England


To build on our successes and achieve our goals, we are continuing our work in these key research programs.

  1. [IMG] A tangled North Atlantic right whale drags fishing gear.

    Wildlife and Ocean Health

    The health of marine wildlife is a barometer of the health of the oceans. Through pioneering research techniques and an integrated approach to studying marine wildlife health, our research aims to understand, quantify, and reduce the consequences of human activities on the health of marine species and ecosystems.

  2. [IMG] Right whale researchers watch a whale from a boat.

    Kraus Marine Mammal Conservation

    Marine mammals are under threat in the ocean like never before—fishing, shipping, pollution, ocean noise, and climate change are all creating multiple challenges for species and ecosystem survival. Anderson Cabot Center researchers are pioneers in the development and application of noninvasive techniques for assessing health and stress in marine animals.