Man and boy fishing at pier

Habitat Conservation

Types of Habitat




Fish use many habitats during their lifetimes, sometimes migrating from one habitat type to another and back again. We protect and restore these coastal habitats to improve fish populations and improve coastal resilience. Learn more about the types of habitat we conserve and how we address their unique challenges.


Coastal Wetlands

Wetlands filter our water, protect our coastal communities from floods, and provide habitat for fish and other wildlife—but they’re quickly disappearing. We’re working hard to protect and restore these valuable habitats.

Learn more about coastal wetlands


Deep-Sea Corals

Hundreds—even thousands—of feet beyond the reach of sunlight, unique corals and sponges are found off all of our coasts. Learn about our ongoing exploration of these hidden habitats and the new and familiar species we’ve found thriving there.

Learn more about deep-sea corals


Estuaries exist where rivers arrive at the sea or large lake. Also called bays, sloughs, and sounds, these unique habitats are home to most of the fish and shellfish eaten in the United States at some point in their lives.

Learn more about estuaries 


Oyster Reefs

Oysters grow together—shell upon shell—building substantial reefs that become shelter for other local sea life. Not only good to eat, oysters filter the water, improving water quality. Over-harvesting, pollution, and disease have contributed to the demise of oysters in the United States.

Learn more about oyster reefs 



One of the main reasons fish populations struggle is that barriers like dams prevent them from reaching the upstream habitat where they breed and grow. Learn about why fish migration is important and what we’re doing to help.

Learn more about rivers 


Shallow Corals

Called the “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs are the most diverse habitats on the planet. Many commercially important fish species depend on coral reefs for food and shelter. They also support tourism and protect coastlines, but these habitats are threatened by rising ocean temperatures, pollution, and other factors.

Learn more about shallow corals