Conservation

More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. Learn about different threats to the ocean and its organisms, successful conservation stories, and what you can do to help.

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A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline.

DIVE DEEPER

How You Can Help the Ocean

The threats faced by our ocean planet may seem overwhelming. In the face of pollution, climate change, overfishing, and...
Oil Drilling Platform in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Oil Spill

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...
Colorful corals are disappearing in the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef – Going, Going, Gone???

Video of Storms, Starfish Wiped out Half of Great Barrier Reef Coral Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science and Editor-in-Chief of the Ocean Portal, went on PBS NewsHour to talk about Great...
A pair of sea butterflies float in the Arctic ocean.

Searching for the Ocean Acidification Signal

Over that past century, the pH of the ocean has decreased from 8.2 to 8.1. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it represents a faster rate than at any time in the last...

Underwater WWII Wrecks – Pollution or Cultural Heritage?

Fish swim around the wreck of the HMT Bedfordshire , an Arctic fishing trawler that was converted into an anti-submarine warship during World War II, and sunk off the coast of North Carolina. Credit:...

Seagrass and Seagrass Beds

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 leaves. They...

Ocean Acidification Excites Boring Sponges

This orange boring sponge ( Cliona varians ) overgrows several coral species at Panama's Smithsonian Tropical Studies Institute. Credit: Amber Stubler Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to...

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...

Laysan Albatrosses’ Plastic Problem

Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even touching land ,...
Sunset over a fishing net.

Technology and Sea Turtles

Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and hooks every...

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...
Henry the Fish is made completely out of colorful plastic that washed up on Oregon beaches.

Washed Ashore: From Beach Trash to Ocean Art

From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful sculpture you'd find in a small beach town. But when you look up close, Henry begins to change. His bright yellow...

The “Plastisphere:" A new marine ecosystem

Tiny bits and pieces of plastic can be found throughout the ocean, like these collected from the open ocean by net. Credit: Courtesy of Erik Zettler Any floating object in the ocean tends to...
Freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark held by fisherman with knife.

Shark Finning: Sharks Turned Prey

A fisherman holds a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini). Every year, humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks. Removing sharks in large numbers can have ripple effects that...
Brian Skerry sits on a 20 foot high underwater tripod to photograph the Aquarius Habitat off Florida.

Portraits of Planet Ocean – Behind The Photographs

Brian Skerry sits on a 20 foot high underwater tripod to photograph the Aquarius Habitat off Florida. Credit: Copyright © Mark Conlin Editor's Note: These images and more can be seen at Smithsonian's National...

Ice-Loving Seals and the Loss of Sea Ice

In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups being washed up on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Like many, this young seal...
A puffin with a mouthful of fish.

Watching for Fish in the Puffin's Beak

Atlantic puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their mouths, help to hold ten or more small forage fish at once without losing any along the way. Credit: Steve Garvie, Flickr...

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