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The Ocean Blog

An 11-year-old in Texas is saddened by the oil spill and begins searching for something she can do to help. A 13-year-old in Washington, D.C., convinces her mom to make small changes in their daily...
Earth Day is a fitting occasion to celebrate the Big Blue. While our planet may be called “Earth,” 71% of its surface is actually covered by water. This vast ocean makes our planet habitable—for us...
We’re only two months into 2010, and climate change is shaping up to be one of the year’s big buzz topics. Our friends at NOAA have released a prototype of their new Climate Portal . The site offers...
The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet, despite the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I have hope for our ocean’s future. Last week President Obama signed an...
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau . This fish exhibits many primitive...
Today Ray Bradbury died. It might seem strange that I'm writing about Bradbury here on the Ocean Portal, as he's best known for his short stories about space exploration and strange aliens. But he...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
Editor's note: Thank you for your interest in this app. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. Amazing Ocean is a brand new, free mobile app developed by the U.S. Department of State that features...
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
Last week, we began asking visitors to the Ocean Portal a simple question: “How do you feel about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?" We’ve received one Haiku and a slew of other interesting...
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
As the days grow long, school bells fade into distant memories, and families start taking long weekends at the beach, the Ocean Portal Team is preparing for the weeks ahead. The way we see it, June...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off to the printer than new ocean stories...
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (or the GBR as it is known to reef aficionados) stretches for more than 2,300 kilometers (over 1,429 miles) and can be seen from outer space. This largest barrier reef...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the journal Science . Researchers assessed the range and populations...
Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species such as the European green crab and the rough periwinkle (an Atlantic sea snail), warns a new study by a team of...
Once upon a time, the ocean was considered the last place where we could still find an undisturbed environment. This was before the plague of man-made plastic trash flooded the seas. During my...
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