Protected areas

Really Small Fry: Shifting Baselines in Marine Fish Stocks

A public service announcement uses a dramatic example to emphasize that ocean fish aren’t as big as they used to be. Find out more about the decline in the ocean's top -- and often...
Coral Head Near Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Hawaii

World Heritage Goes Marine

A rainbow of tropical fish hovers over a coral head near the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, part of the Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site. Credit: Louiz Rocha Last week, the United Nations’ World Heritage Convention...
A variety of organisms make their home on this tropical coral reef in Indonesia.

Coral Reefs Need You

A variety of organisms make their home on this tropical coral reef in Indonesia. Credit: © Chris Newbert/Minden Pictures For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef ,...
A crocodile sits in water at Sundarbans National Park in India.

Sundarbans National Park, India

The Sundarbans National Park site in India was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The site, located in the Ganges delta, contains the world's largest mangrove forest and hosts a number of...

Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas (or MPAs) ensure that a wide range of marine ecosystems are protected. These areas not only sustain critical habitats and marine resources but also provide recreation to millions of visitors each...

Marine Sanctuaries

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System has made important strides in ocean protection and awareness. The sanctuary system has helped establish the largest network of marine reserves in the continental U.S., which includes the Channel...
A map of NOAA's 13 marine protected areas

The Marine Sanctuary: A Safe Harbor for Ocean Life

The National Marine Sanctuary system is a network of 13 marine protected areas managed by NOAA, in addition to the Papahānaumokuākea (Northwest Hawaiian Islands) Marine National Monument. Credit: NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries...
A photo of Oceana's ice class research vessel, the Hanse Explorer, on the Baltic Sea.

Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea

In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the brackish Baltic Sea . The Baltic faces challenges from pollution, algae blooms, over fishing, and invasive species. Oceana researchers...
A map of NOAA's 13 marine protected areas

40 Years of National Marine Sanctuaries

The National Marine Sanctuary system is a network of 13 marine protected areas managed by NOAA, in addition to the Papahānaumokuākea (Northwest Hawaiian Islands) Marine National Monument. Credit: NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries...

Behind the Photo: The Primal Ocean

Red Pigfish and Blue Mao-Mao school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this photo . Credit: Brian Skerry, National Geographic A few...
A whale shark swims with a diver off the coast of East Africa.

The Big Five of the Ocean: Exploring the Waters of East Africa

A whale shark swims with a diver off the coast of East Africa. Credit: Caine Delacy When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos—that crisscross the African...

Field Notes from the East African Coast

Traditional fishing techniques now involve monofilament nets, with snorkelers diving down to ensure the bigger fish don't get away. Credit: Caine Delacy We began this journey three months ago, a team of scientists and...
Nuclear bomb in Bikini Atoll

Naturally Resilient

Coral Reefs Can Recover From Disasters. How Can We Save Them From Us? by Michael Webster, Coral Reef Alliance In 1946, the US military tested nuclear bombs on a coral reef in the Pacific,...
Two coral trout swim on a reef in Fiji.

Having Your Fish and Eating Them Too

Credit: Taveuni Palms Resort, Flickr by Laura Brodbeck A special type of marine protected area (MPA) called a “no-take zone” bans the removal of marine life from designated areas. At first glance, they seem...

Helpful Herbivores

Convict surgeonfish are the roaming sheep of the reef but, instead of noshing on grass, they feed on algae. Credit: Michael Webster When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West...
Sunset over a fishing net.

Success Stories in Ocean Conservation

It is easy to feel hopeless when reading the news coverage of ocean conservation. Between climate change , acidification , pollution and overfishing, it often feels like the ocean and its biodiversity, which we...

Cabo Pulmo – Giving Optimism to Coral Reefs

Video of World Heritage Biosphere Reserve On the east coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula lies a small marine protected area that represents one of the most impressive successes in ocean conservation. by Amanda...
The coastline of American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary

The Reefs of American Samoa: A Story of Hope

American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary comprises a fringing coral reef ecosystem nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. Credit: Wendy Cover Sometimes called the rainforests of the sea,...