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The Ocean Blog

Rockfish, anemones, and other invertebrates inhabit this deep-sea coral reef in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. Deep-sea corals provide habitat and benefits to a...
Broad-leaf seagrass ( Posidonia australis ) with algae epiphytes grows at Corner Inlet Marine National Park in Australia . The marine park protects large areas of seagrass habitat from fishing—but it...
Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this...
These deep-sea corals at the Madison-Swanson Marine Reserve in the Gulf of Mexico are protected, along with the marine life they harbor. Learn more about deep-sea corals and marine protected areas in...
The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean...
A few years ago, I was in New Zealand photographing a story about the value of marine reserves (a type of marine protected area ). My last location was a place called the Poor Knights Islands , a...
Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest of the main Hawaiian archipelago, is home to vibrant coral reefs with scores of fish species. It was designated a Marine World Heritage Site in August...
Last week, the United Nations’ World Heritage Convention went blue. Two of the largest and healthiest marine protected areas on our planet—the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati and...
The Komodo National Park site in Indonesia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. The site hosts "Komodo dragons" ( Varanus komodoensis ), a unique species that exists nowhere else in the...
The Aldabra Atoll site in the Seychelles was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The site is comprised of a coral reef surrounding four large coral islands, which enclose a shallow lagoon...
The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino site in Mexico was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993. The sanctuary contains important breeding and wintering sites for the grey whale ( Eschrichtius...
The United States has a network of protected areas in the waters off our coasts. From the chilly waves on Washington's Olympic Coast to the warm shallows ringing the Florida Keys, the National...
A rockfish finds refuge in a deep-sea coral—a red tree coral of the Primnoidae family in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Learn more about deep-sea coral reef ecosystems in our Deep-sea...
The Ha Long Bay site in Vietnam was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994. The site's 1,600 islands and islets form a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars surrounded by species-rich...
A school of yellowfin surgeonfish, Acanthurus xanthopterus , feed near dusk off Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, one of the world's largest marine protected areas. Think this photo should be...
The West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site's two fjords, among the world's longest and deepest, are considered...
When most people think of iconic American landscapes, we think of places on land. Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon—these national parks are household names. But many Americans...
The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park site in the Philippines was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. The site's topography varies from flat plains to rolling hinterlands and...
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