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The Ocean Blog

Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see from your spacecraft? A blue planet with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean. From space it’s obvious how...
When people sail the sea, marine organisms tag along. If carried long distances, these hitchhikers can invade and disrupt ecosystems far from their natural homes, pushing out the local species. Some...
These corals are dead—smothered in sediments and overgrown with algae. The reef is near Komodo Island in Indonesia. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
Recorded on Feb. 15, 2011, award-winning ocean filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau addresses students and educators at the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts . Cousteau, president of the Ocean...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was...
Happy (early) Independence Day! For many of us in the United States, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national heritage. In many ways, the U.S. grew up on the water and...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
A lot can happen in five years. Since 2007, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to go up, reaching a concentration of 400 parts per million, and with it Arctic sea ice...
Dr. Ilka C. "Candy" Feller calls mangroves the 'nursery of the sea.' These important coastal habitats face many threats, including nutrient pollution from fertilizer runoff. That's the focus of much...
In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our greatest natural treasures, Yellowstone National Park , for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. The logic was...
This coral reef in the Western Pacific Ocean was killed by human input of silt and sand from nearby islands reaching the coral reef habitat. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral...
Today, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere are the highest they've been in 15 million years. It's the cumulative impact of an ever-expanding population -- 7 billion people and rising -- and...
Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation, especially in the Pacific Ocean's famously big, cold waves. Waves that are otherwise fun for my weekend surfing can turn a...
For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef , you know that it’s an experience you are unlikely to forget. Coral reefs are among the world’s most magnificent ecosystems. Their...
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water and onto the beaches of the remote ecosystem. Richard Carson...
We began this journey three months ago, a team of scientists and filmmakers traveling the East African coastline by boat to document and research the status of coral reefs from South Africa to Kenya...
Have you ever gone to your favorite coastal or lakeside beach and instead of having a fun day in the sun you were faced with a trove of trash? How heartbreaking it is to see waters and shorelines...
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impacts the coast at Pass a Loutre, La. Photo was taken on June 2, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil...
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