< Back

Coastal habitats

47.5km of coastline that varies greatly in character

Lucie Machin
Lucie Machin

Dive deeper

The extent of the MPA stops at the high tide mark

but some species do not respect this boundary and move on to the island’s sandy beaches, coastal plateaus and sea cliffs to breed. With dry land at a premium in the central Atlantic, species that require it to complete their life cycles have congregated on Ascension making it one of the most important sites for nesting turtles and seabirds in the Atlantic.

Though not part of the MPA, many of these coastal breeding sites are designated as terrestrial nature reserves, creating a seamless landscape of protection for these charismatic species.

Land crab - Matt Stritch

Ascension has 47.5km of coastline that varies greatly in character from expanses of sandy beach to steep basaltic cliffs. In some places the coastal landscape is dramatic with lava flows frozen in time as they reached the water.

There have been little in the way of coastal development on Ascension and most of the coastline is in its natural state with only localised modification and protection works in the north-west of the island.