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The Wadden Sea site in Germany and the Netherlands was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2009. It’s a large relatively flat coastal wetland environment, with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
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...
Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast, which is home to a great diversity of life. Because the rocky and steep peaks almost reach the surface in some areas, it is...
The Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. The park, located in the extreme western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon...
The Area de Conservación Guanacaste site in Costa Rica was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. The site has the most intact inshore Pacific marine ecosystem between the Panama Canal Zone...
While the Ross Sea is perhaps the most pristine place left in the world’s ocean, the human footprint is fast changing this last place. Even as the effects of climate change are redefining the very...
The Sian Ka'an site in Mexico was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The site's name means "Origin of the Sky" in Mayan and contains tropical forests, mangroves, and marshes, as well as a...
American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary comprises a fringing coral reef ecosystem nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. The 163-acre sanctuary—the...
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...
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 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...
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...
Fish swim in Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve off the Baja California peninsula. After decades of overfishing, in the 1990s, these reefs were not in very good shape. But thanks to the efforts of local...
The Socotra Archipelago site in Yemen was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. The marine life is diverse and includes 283 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of...
The Great Barrier Reef site in Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. The site is the world’s most extensive stretch of coral reef with probably the richest animal diversity...
This Marine National Monument protects a chain of atolls and reefs 1,931-kilometers (1,200-miles) long. The Hawaiian name for this chain is “Papahanaumokuakea,” which joins the Hawaiian words for...
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...
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