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The Ocean Blog

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...
Happy New Year! We’ve officially hit mid-January, but there is still plenty of time to make those resolutions. If you’ve been putting it off or haven’t come up with a worthy resolution yet, why not...
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...
Sometimes, a tragic event can become a powerful teaching opportunity. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to capture students’ attention and stimulate discussion...
Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands has taken the internet by storm. Where are the hermit crabs going, and why?...
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...
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...
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...
Starting this Sunday, August 1st, the fins will be circling on a television near you. Sunday kicks off The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” an annual TV ritual that offers hours of programming about...
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...
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...
Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs. In the modern ocean, only one species of seacow is found in each world region, however, the fossil record...
Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP drilling rig spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico and become one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the...
On Friday, the OP Team had another great opportunity to talk face-to-face with some of the people that the Ocean Portal will serve: teachers. More than 4,000 teachers attended Smithsonian Teachers...
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...
Ships are well-known for their tiny rooms and tight quarters. But have you heard of a sea vessel that has toilets and sinks sticking out of the walls, and staircases and doors on the ceiling? This...
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...
Lately we’ve been fielding questions from Smithsonian visitors wondering how they can help with the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico. If there is any good news coming out of this situation, it...
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