While the world’s oceans and associated marine life are imperiled by numerous human-induced threats, island restoration is a novel tool that has the potential to improve adjacent critical marine habitats. Removing invasive species from oceanic islands, while restoring native species and terrestrial ecosystems, may also enhance coral reef productivity in nearshore areas. Research suggests that the return of seabirds and native vegetation helps reestablish critically important terrestrial-marine interactions, including nutrient flows.


Our desire is to determine the range of benefits that island restoration provides for our world’s oceans, identify and fill remaining knowledge gaps, and help prioritize conservation efforts with both significant terrestrial and marine outcomes. Island Conservation envisions working with marine conservation experts to increase the pace of this work and contribute to research to better understand the ridge-to-reef connection.

Additional research will establish a deeper understanding of the benefits for temperate marine ecosystems and the circumstances in which island restoration initiatives are most likely to produce significant nearshore benefits. Ultimately, invasive species removal, as well as native wildlife and plant restoration on islands, could become established approaches to marine conservation—preventing extinctions and resulting in thriving marine ecosystems.

There is a modest, but growing body of scientific evidence that correlates healthy marine ecosystems to unaltered, or restored, invasive-species-free islands with robust populations of native plants, seabirds, and other wildlife.

Article: From Land to Sea and Back Again: Piecing Together the Puzzle of Ecological Connectivity in the Line Islands
Paper: McCauley et al. 2012

Article: Science has Spoken: Coral Reefs Thrive by Rat-free Islands
Paper: Graham et al. 2018

Article: Seabirds Enhance Coral Reef Growth: New Scientific Research
Paper: Savage et al. 2019

Article: Connecting Healthy Ecosystems—Seabird Islands and Coral Reefs
Paper: Benkwitt et al. 2019


A gift to Island Conservation in your estate plan will build a legacy and assure a future in which island species thrive. By including Island Conservation in your will, your estate may receive significant tax savings. A designated sum or a certain percentage of a residuary estate can be donated or consider making Island Conservation a full or partial beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan.  If you choose to provide for Island Conservation in your estate plans, please contact the development manager at giving@islandconservation.org or 831-359-4787.

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Gifts of long-term appreciated stock are an easy way to provide crucial support to Island Conservation and increase your giving. Benefits may include: income tax and capital gain tax savings. Consult your financial advisor on the potential benefits.

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The Pension Protection Act of 2006 gives those at least 70½ years of age the opportunity to make tax-free charitable gifts, including the minimum required distribution.

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Donating real estate to Island Conservation may give you a tax deduction on the fair market value of the real estate and help you avoid the capital gains tax you may incur if you were to sell the property.

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Your current/former employer may double or triple your generous contribution to Island Conservation.

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Celebrate special events or the memory of a special person in your life by making an honorary gift. Please make sure to include the honoree’s name when you make your donation.

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Midway Atoll conservation