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The Ocean Blog

The Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection site in Panama was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site, protected from the cold winds and effects of El Nino,...
This colorful coral lives in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On the whole, this coral reef is the largest single structure built by living organisms and can be seen from space! Although more than one...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...
In California, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary provides protection to Great White Sharks and other species. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
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 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...
In November 2012, Australia began protecting a huge swath of its ocean from overfishing and oil exploration, creating the largest network of marine reserves in the world at a grand total of 1.2...
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...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encompasses several state parks and wildlife refuges. Learn more about National M arine Sanctuaries and how they can help protect and conserve ocean life.
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 large -- predators...
Check out the eyes on these Hawaiian squirrelfish ( Sargocentron xantherythrum )! Because squirrelfish are almost entirely nocturnal, they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as...
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