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Welcome to the Ocean Portal & American Spaces activity page. This curriculum on ocean science and conservation was designed for the U.S. Department of State’s American Spaces program, although it...
Travel to the ends of the earth—literally—and discover the polar ocean basins. Both the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean are defined by ice and dramatic shifts between endless day and endless...
Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't...
The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11...
Seagrasses are found in shallow salty and brackish waters in many parts of the world, from the tropics to the Arctic Circle. Seagrasses are so-named because most species have long green, grass-like...
Solving environmental problems often starts with small groups of people working to make things better. But to sustain and scale up environmental successes often requires government support. The Ocean...
As a consumer, you can choose what kinds of seafood to buy. Some species are in good supply and make excellent choices. Others have declined dramatically due to overfishing or environmental factors...
It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is icy cold and the light dim or absent. Yet believe it or not, lush coral...
Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean's water column around the world. They are both beautiful—the jellyfish with their pulsating bells and long, trailing...
Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic...
Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would quickly kill most plants. How do they do it? Through a series of...
The ocean never stops moving. When you visit the beach, waves roll in and recede and the tides rise and fall. These are small daily changes that balance out over time. But over the past century, the...
Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old restaurant menu can teach us about the history of fish populations? Or that...
Here at the Ocean Portal, we celebrate the ocean every day. But one time a year—for World Ocean Day—we invite you to join us in special celebrations honoring that great, salty body of water that...
Here at the Ocean Portal, we celebrate the ocean every day. But one time a year—for World Ocean Day—we invite you to join us in special celebrations honoring that great, salty body of water that...
The Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) is a Smithsonian research program launched to explore marine life and monitor changes on deep reefs in the southern Caribbean. Found below SCUBA diving depths...
You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in their glowing abdomens, a process known as bioluminescence. But did you know...
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