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Your Ocean Poems

Is the ocean your muse? Send us your poems that celebrate the Big Blue. Credit: Photo by Flickr User Nattu May is here and that means National Poetry Month is officially over. As promised, we're going to highlight a few of the submissions we've received from our call for your ocean poems . Sailors, divers, and sunbathers all penned poems. Some praised the big blue's beauty. Others bemoaned its mistreatment. Coral reefs inspired some, aircraft carriers moved others (literally and figuratively). Full disclosure: the Ocean Portal staff does not profess to have advanced degrees in poetry, rhyming...Read more

Helping Kids Help the Ocean

A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline. Credit: Liew Shan Sern/Marine Photobank 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 routine that make their home more ocean-friendly. A 7-year-old spends a part of his Saturday trip to the museum learning about the ocean—and some of the things that are harming it —and decides to donate the two prized nickels he found that morning to help the ocean. A 15-...Read more

Teach Us

A student participates in shoreline survey in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Credit: Kathleen Reaugh/Marine Photobank Welcome Teachers! Thank you for visiting the Ocean Portal. We hope the “OP” will be a valuable tool for you and for your students—a place where you can find teaching resources and your students can find helpful, exciting, or just-plain-weird content that sparks interest in science and the ocean. When we began developing educator resources for the OP, we surveyed hundreds of teachers about the kinds of features and materials they would find useful (thanks to those...Read more

Help us pick the next OP stars

The race is on. We need to choose the next species and ecosystem to feature on the Ocean Portal, and we’re putting it to a vote. Does the charismatic (and threatened) polar bear deserve the spot or should the humble (and bizarre) sea cucumber finally be thrust into the limelight? Want to slosh with us through the salt marsh next or swim among the giant kelp? We need more votes to decide, and you could be the one to tip the scales. Cast your ballot for your favorite ocean species and ecosystem, and stay tuned for the results.Read more

Welcome to the Ocean Portal Blog!

If you've found your way here, you've probably already seen the homepage of the Smithsonian Institution's brand new Ocean Portal (or OP, for short). We encourage you to spend some time exploring the OP and let us know what you think. This is an experiment and an invitation. It's our first attempt to really work closely with visitors to build an interactive web experience - not just a web site. And we invite you to participate in shaping the Portal as it grows. Sure, we have cool ocean things we want to show you, but we also want to know what you are curious about and what kinds of features...Read more

The results are in...

A great white shark in the waters of the coast of Guadelupe, Mexico. Credit: Caterina Gennaro/Marine Photobank In September, during the Sant Ocean Hall's first anniversary celebration, the Ocean Portal Team hit the museum floor to tell visitors about the OP and get some early feedback. Let's face it, we spend a lot of time at our computers, so we were very excited to meet people face-to-face. We asked visitors to vote on which ocean creature they'd like to see featured next on the portal: Chinook salmon, great white sharks, vent worms, or moon jellies. For those who couldn’t visit us in...Read more