Major conservation organizations around the world work on a daily basis to protect natural environments and resources. Understanding the importance of conservation is key in developing good preservation practices and supporting conservation causes. Without conservation efforts, the world’s food supply would dwindle, the eco-system would suffer and natural resources would be depleted. That is why many government initiatives for conservation and major pieces of legislation protect endangered or threatened species to recover.

You can learn how to get involved with conservation efforts locally and globally by reading the sections below. You can also practice ethical fishing habits buy learning about eco friendly gear and boating options that are better for the environment.

What are major conservation organizations?

The World Wildlife Fund is among the major conservation organizations that strive to protect endangered species, habitats and natural resources. For example, these environmental conservation organizations fight for the protections of threatened or endangered animals. Moreover, these organizations help to create and pass conservation legislations around the world. Below is a list of environmental organizations and the conservation efforts they support:

  • Oceana – Oceana is the largest environmental conservation organization specifically dedicated to ocean conservation efforts. As one of the major conservation organizations actively fighting to protect and restore the ocean, Oceana is involved in passing conservation legislation and in working with major fishing countries to stop overfishing.
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) provides grants to public and private organizations that affect the environment positively. As a leading grant provider for wildlife conservation organizations in the country, the NFWF supports environmental projects in every state.
  • The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) – The IGFA is a non-profit wildlife conservation organization focused on preserving game fish and educating anglers about sustainable fishing methods. The IGFA works with anglers to promote ethical fishing practices.
  • Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) – The CCA is a major conservation organization focused on the protection and conservation of marine resources. In general, this organization has over 100,000 partners across the United States.
  • Marine Fish Conservation Network – The Marine Fish Conservation Network partners with fishermen and scientists to conserve and revitalize wildlife according to active fishing regulations.
  • Trout Unlimited – Trout Unlimited is another non-profit conservation organization. This institution is dedicated to protecting and conserving North American cold-water fisheries. Moreover, their main objective is to protect salmon and trout, as well as their environments.

Why is conservation important?

The importance of conservation goes beyond protecting specific species of fish. Important conservation efforts protect the eco-system, natural resources and help sustain our current way of life. Without conservation practices, the world would not be able to produce the food necessary to sustain life. Additionally, people would not have the available natural resources that allow them to function as a society.

The importance of environmental conservation does not end there. Practices such as overfishing and bycatch can also negatively affect the upkeep of bodies of water, jeopardizing the world’s water and food supply. Moreover, pollution and deforestation can affect the atmosphere, threaten natural resources and contaminate clean waters.

Certain conservation efforts help protect the environment and provide food, clean water and resources to poor countries and at-risk individuals. For instance, Oceana strives to restore the world’s oceans and supply food to under-privileged coastal communities. Supporting important conservation efforts like these is crucial to being a responsible and conscious individual.

Are there government initiatives for conservation?

Government action for conservation initiatives are necessary to maintain natural resources and public safety. Thus, government initiatives for conservation range from protecting food and water supplies to keeping the air clean and parks safe. Below are a few steps taken by the government to conserve resources and promote their sustainable usage:

  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – This government initiative for conservation protects the natural resources in and around the Great Lakes of the United States. This area accounts for 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water supply. Moreover, these lakes are home to hundreds of species and provide drinking water for almost 400 million people.
  • Corporate Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) – This government action for conservation aids eligible private and public partners to conserve resources and stream-line cultivation processes. Thus, the CCPI helps the government regulate businesses and corporations, as well as educate the industry regarding sustainable practices. Moreover, this initiative limits the use of harmful chemicals in agricultural endeavors.
  • Coral Reef Conservation Program – The Coral Reef Conservation Program is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The program is dedicated to researching, understanding and conserving coral reef eco-systems. The NOAA exemplifies the role of government in environmental conservation by striving to correct coral reef issues.
  • Sustainable Fishing Initiative – The government’s role in environmental safety extends to protecting fish, which is a significant food source in the world. Sustainable fishing initiatives are backed by legislation that regulates, restores and protects the population of various species. In general, fish are estimated to feed 700 million people. Therefore, sustainable fishing initiatives around the world are important to protect this abundant food supply.

Is there legislation on conservation?

It is a responsibility of the government to protect the environment and its natural resources. Creating legislation on conservation is important to preserve food supplies, clean air and healthy bodies of water. Below are some of the major environmental legislation acts that protect the eco-system and help sustaining our current way of life:

  • Magnus-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MFCMA) – The MFCMA is a major legislation on conservation that regulates, protects and enforces sustainable fishing laws.
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) – The MMPA is one of the many US conservation laws that prevent the exploitation of marine mammals for commercial use. This act limits the number of marine mammal products exported from and imported into the United States. Thus, it aims to preserve marine mammal populations.
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA) – The ESA is a commonly known US conservation law. This act protects endangered species from being harmed or exploited.
  • Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA) – The RCA requires the United States government to consistently update its regulations for private soils in accordance with the latest soil and water research.
  • Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) – The CZMA is a piece of environmental legislation that protects natural resources on the United States coastline and great lakes.
  • Clean Air Act – The Clean Air Act regulates emissions from motorized vehicles. Thus, this act reduces the amount of harmful gases and protects the ozone layer.
  • Clean Water Act – This piece of legislation on conservation protects our drinkable water supply from harmful pollutants. Thus, the Clean Water Act limits the amount of pollution introduced into bodies of water and regulates their quality.

How do I get involved in conservation efforts?

The first step to being an active citizen regarding the environment involves deciding how to get involved with conservation. Thus, you can find out how to get involved in conservation projects by following the steps listed below.

  • Find a cause – It is helpful to find a cause you are passionate about before you learn how to help with conservation. For example, if you want to support sustainable fishing practices, you can get involved with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).
  • Volunteer – Volunteering is one of the best and most direct ways of helping with conservation efforts. For instance, you can become a beach clean up volunteer and help keeping the ocean clean. This effort can sustain your local bodies of water and help save the lives of marine species in them. In general, non-profit organizations such as the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) often need help and support.
  • Donate – Giving a conservation donation can also help supporting different causes and organizations. Your donations can help conserve the environment and its natural resources. The World Wild Life Fund and Oceana are two of the leading conservation organizations that rely on donations.
  • Follow laws – Getting involved with conservation can be as simple as following fishing regulations. Most states impose daily bag limits and minimum size requirements that aim to protect threatened species. For instance, anglers in New York may only catch five trout per day.

Each conservation organization has its own website with resources regarding donations and volunteering. Moreover, these websites provide insightful information about conservation efforts.

How do I sign conservation petitions?

Many individuals wonder how to sign petitions that actually make a difference in the world. In general, platforms such as Change.org and iPetitions.com are great tools for you to find relevant and important petitions. These websites show you how to sign petitions online and give you access to thousands of causes worth your support.

If you are wondering how petitions work, be mindful that each case is different. However, most petitions need a specific number of signatures for further action to be taken. You can also start a petition if you feel passionate about a cause that has not gathered enough attention. For example, you can start government petitions on the White House’s official government website. Generally, petitions are great tools to get the attention of lawmakers. Thus, successful petitions can yield legislation changes that protect and conserve the environment.

What are different conservation causes?

A variety of organizations are responsible for the management of different conservation causes. Major causes of conservation include:

  • Endangered species protection and restoration
  • Clean water
  • Clean air
  • Habitat protection and restoration
  • Food sustainability
  • Climate change management

Learning how to conserve energy and water can help eliminate major threats to biodiversity. Examples of threats include deforestation and the unsustainable usage of natural resources. Moreover, eliminating causes of habitat destructions such as unethical fishing methods can help restore endangered species. As a consequence, the food supplies around the world are kept at healthy levels. Similarly, conserving water and limiting harmful gas emissions can reduce the effects of global warming and preserve natural resources.

What are threatened and endangered species?

Protecting endangered species is a major part of most conservation efforts. Because certain threatened species are often found in the U.S., many anglers do not know that they are at risk. Thus, consider the following list of threatened and endangered species of fish:

  • Grouper
  • Minnow
  • Pupfish
  • Rockfish
  • Hammerhead shark
  • Sturgeon

Some of the endangered animals listed above have sub-species that may be more endangered than others. An official endangered species list is managed on a regular basis by the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service.

What is water conservation?

Water conservation is the act of managing fresh water in a sustainable way. Learning how to conserve water is important because the availability of fresh water is limited. Below are a few ways to conserve water that all individuals can easily practice.

  • Turn off tap while brushing your teeth
  • Fix all leaks as soon as possible
  • Go to a carwash instead of washing your own car
  • Take shorter showers
  • Choose efficient water fixtures
  • Only wash full loads of laundry
  • Use rainwater to water plants
  • Keep a faucet off as you do the dishes, until you are ready to rinse

There are a variety of other ways to save water on a daily basis that may benefit your water conservation efforts. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website offers various water saving tips for residents to take into consideration.

How do fishing licenses contribute to conservation?

Obtaining a fishing license contributes to conservation efforts in your state and local community. That is because fishing license proceeds go directly into maintaining fish habitats and species. Thus, below is a list of ways how your fishing license contributes to environmental conservation.

  • Fish research
  • Habitat management
  • Fish stocking
  • Education
  • Boating and fishing access

Funding fish research allows conservation fishing license limits to be accurate, guaranteeing the survival of fish species in your area. Fishing license limits help prevent overfishing and protect marine species during all seasons. Moreover, paying for a fishing license is good for conservation practices because these funds are allocated toward clean-up programs. Additionally, licenses also fund educational efforts that aim to teach children about the importance of conservation.

How do fishing quotas help conservation?

Fishing limits on licenses aim to avoid overfishing, keeping endangered young fish safe and protecting them during spawning seasons. Moreover, fishing regulations restrict recreational fishing practices by seasons, allowing fish to spawn, migrate and replenish their populations. For example, in Pennsylvania, bass cannot be caught during the summer months. Recognizing the importance of fishery laws and regulations creates a better environment and a better fishing experience for everyone involved.

Fishing rules also prevent anglers from bycatching endangered species or destroying natural environments. Moreover, fishing limits protect species with low or threatened populations. For instance, anglers in North Carolina may only catch 3 king mackerel per day. To learn more about fish limits and regulations, you can continue reading our fishing regulations page.

Why are there fishing seasons?

Fishing seasons affect conservation practices by restricting the periods of time that anglers are allowed to catch certain species. Thus, fishing seasons must align with each fish ecosystem, determining when certain species may or may not be harvested. In general, fish are only in season when their population is high enough to be harvested without negative consequences.

Federal and state governments also set fishing seasons to prohibit anglers from catching species during their spawning seasons. Generally, interrupting a spawning season may cause the decline of a species’ overall population. Moreover, daily bag limits are also set to avoid overfishing practices during each designated season. For instance, anglers can only catch 20 yellow perch per day in Minnesota.

What is sustainable fishing?

Sustainable fishing practices help to sustain fish populations by properly regulating when, where and how anglers can catch fish. Sustainable fishing methods prevent:

  • Overfishing
  • Bycatch
  • Habitat destruction
  • Food shortages
  • Eco-system instability
  • Species extinction

Sustainable fish are species there were caught or farmed through sustainable methods. For that reason, these fish often cost more to consumers. In general, sustainable fish farming techniques reduce the influence of humans in regards to farmed fish. Moreover, sustainable fishing has allowed many fish populations to remain stable. Sustainable fishing practices are relatively new among anglers and less popular in certain parts of the world. To be a responsible angler, you may try practicing sustainable fishing methods such as catch and release.

What are eco-friendly gear options?

Eco friendly gear can help you protect natural habitats and the species of fish that live in them. Several eco friendly gear options are available to support conservation efforts and protect fish populations. For instance, consider the following types of equipment:

  • Steel or tin lures/sinkers – Many sinkers are made of lead. When used, these sinker can raise lead levels in the water and poison fish. Conversely, eco friendly lures and sinkers made of steel, tin or natural materials can help reduce lead levels.
  • Biodegradable fishing line – Some of the best eco friendly gear options are biodegradable fishing lines. Unlike most other types of gear, these lines degrade easily if they are lost in water. Therefore, they can reduce the chances of species hurting themselves by getting entangled.
  • J or circle hooks – J-hooks and circle-hooks are more eco friendly gear in comparison to other types. For example, these hooks facilitate catch and release practices. Other hooks, such as three prong fishing hooks, can injure the gills and internal organs of fish. Conversely, small J-hooks and circle hooks are easily removed and cause minimal damage to fish.
  • Rubber nets – Rubber nets are great eco friendly gear options for anglers looking to practice catch and release methods. For instance, these nets do not remove the protective coat that keeps fish safe from bacteria. Moreover, rubber nets make it easier to corral fish and remove the hook without having to take them out of the water.

What are eco-friendly boat options?

Eco friendly boats are relatively more sustainable than most types of fishing boats. Thus, these boats help generally pollute less. The following are some eco friendly boat options to consider:

  • Fuel-efficient boat
  • Small motorized boat
  • Electric boat
  • Non-motorized boat
    • Dinghies
    • Inflatable boats
    • Canoes
    • Kayaks

Regardless of the eco friendly boat you purchase, you must also remember to run regular eco friendly boat maintenance. For example, you should keep a wax coat on your boat and use paints that do not poison the water. Moreover, motorized boats are generally more pollutant than electric or non-motorized vessels. If you still wish to purchase a motorized boat, you may opt for smaller vessels that are fuel efficient. In addition, you can avoid over-fueling your boat, as this may release oil and excess gas into the water. To learn more about environmentally friendly boats and how to make your boating practices more eco-friendly, you can click here.