Solutions & Success Stories

Although the ocean is facing many challenges, here we celebrate the success stories and solutions that move our waters in the right direction.

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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...

Good-Bye Gillnet, Hello Shark Recovery!

A thresher shark was killed after becoming stuck in a gillnet. Credit: Brian Skerry Imagine that you're a shark swimming beneath the surface, minding your own business, when—smack!—you swim right into a net. Entangled,...
Plastic bottles and other marine debris cover a rocky beach in Curacao.

Fighting Plastic From Every Angle

A still from a video documenting a remote beach in Curaçao that's been blanketed in plastic garbage. Credit: Cristina Castillo / Smithsonian Institution Ocean plastic comes in all shapes and sizes, from the flip-flops...

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,...

Miami Connects Art and Mangrove Restoration

In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the...

Have We Hit The Chicken Little Point In Ocean Conservation?

Credit: Illustration from "Chicken Little" in the New Barnes Reader vol.1, New York, 1916 The sky is falling! The sky is falling! So cries Chicken Little (or Chicken Licken, or Henny Penny, depending on...

Young Aquanauts to the Rescue

Pieces of baby coral hang on PVC pipe structures until they are large enough to be transplanted. Credit: Courtesy SCUBAnauts International “Naut” is an ancient Greek word that means “sailor,” and when attached to...

The Blue Halo – Barbuda and Beyond

By Charlotte Runzel A Barbudan fisherman with a fresh lobster catch! Credit: Blue Halo Initiative Papa Joe, the oldest fisherman on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, remembers when he could harvest conch in water...
Nancy Knowlton speaking about the "Future of the Ocean"

The Future of the Ocean

Nancy Knowlton, the Sant Chair of Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, asks "What is the likely future of our ancestral home?" The answer depend on what humans do now...
Trout cages in 30 feet of water.

Aquaculture Comes Full Circle

Trout cages sit in 30 feet of water and are surrounded by ropes where mussels and sugar kelp grow, absorbing excess nutrients in the water. Credit: Rebecca Zeiber, N.H. Sea Grant Until recently we...
An opah at the Honolulu Fish Auction with a printed label attached that includes an ID number, bar code, the date, the receiver's ID number, the cart number, species name, vessel name, and weight of the fish.

“Storied Fish”: Why Sustainable Seafood Requires A Tale

An opah at the Honolulu Fish Auction with a printed label attached that includes an ID number, bar code, the date, the receiver's ID number, the cart number, species name, vessel name, and weight...

How Laws Around the World Help Improve Ocean Health

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 Portal has joined with Earthjustice...
A sculpture of a giant octopus made of ocean debris

Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea

Octavia embodies the curiosity and intelligence characteristic of the octopus. She inquisitively tinkers and plays with her surrounding environment. Credit: Washed Ashore While we don't know exactly how much trash is afloat in the...
Cleaning up abandoned fishing nets

Upcycled Ocean Plastic

The Possibilities Are Endless For Reuse of Plastic Ocean Trash Here, workers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) remove discarded fishing nets from Midway Atoll in the Pacific. Though Norton Point doesn’t...

Ocean Optimism - Video

Focusing on the state of the ocean today can be pretty depressing. So depressing that it's easy to forget that our positive actions are making a difference. In 2014, #OceanOptimism started a global movement...

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