What we do


Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and play an essential role in regulating the planet’s climate. They also are considered a major source of dietary protein and the environment with the highest biodiversity.

mar e costaThe 7,416-km long Brazilian coastline is the second largest in Latin America. And approximately two thirds of the country’s population lives in urban centers located along the coast.

The ocean, coast and forest communicate and interact. The biological richness of coastal ecosystems turns these areas into huge natural “nurseries”. For example, many species that live in the sea in adulthood are born and spend their early stages of life in mangroves and estuaries, such as the mero (Atlantic goliath grouper), for example.

In addition, coastal forests – like mangroves and marshes – provide shelter for species and protection for the coastal zone, preventing erosion and siltation and increasing resilience against the impacts of global warming.

Coastal ecosystems are protected by the Brazilian Federal Constitution.

However, the oceans, seas and coastline are under constant threat.  About 80% of sea pollution comes from the land, such as plastic objects and the discharge of domestic and industrial effluents into the ocean. The increase of economic activities with potential impact (e.g. industrial fishing and oil extraction), the current policy to increase fish consumption, the warming up of the sea and the deterioration of water quality in coastal areas are proof that urgent efforts are required to preserve marine biodiversity in Brazil.

Despite all this, less than 1% of the Brazilian coast is currently under protection.

A positive and propositional agenda for marine protection is urgently needed. Legislation needs to be improved, and a Sea Act is essential. The Foundation therefore encourages and participates in efforts that have contributed to the drafting of the Bill No. 6969 of 2013, which establishes a National Policy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Brazilian Marine Biome (PNCMar), its goals and mechanisms.

The SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation also conducted a study to define key areas for biodiversity conservation – KBAs (Key Biodiversity Areas) within the framework of the activities of the Alliance for Marine Conservation, with a view to playing a more strategic role in the creation of protected marine areas. The delay in using KBAs in the marine environment is owed mostly to a lack of information on the extent to which species are threatened with extinction. The KBAs’ main goal is to prevent species from disappearing, giving priority to those under the greatest threat.

kbasMoreover, the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation stimulates the understanding and protection of these areas through the Funds and Initiatives of the Atlantic Coast Program.

Human well-being depends on the conservation of the environment where we live, and we must recognize the importance of conserving the coastal and marine environments. We need to review our values ​​in relation to the sea and all the creatures that live in it, to protect them as best as possible. It is essential to disseminate knowledge on the importance of these environments for the entire population. We hope that, in doing so, we will protect the coastal zone, both consciously and efficiently.