World Oceans Day 2012

Chrysaora melanaster is a jellyfish found in the Arctic.

Chrysaora melanaster, one of the largest jellyfish commonly found in the Arctic, swims underneath the Arctic ice.

(K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA)

Here at the Ocean Portal, we celebrate the ocean every day. But one day a year — World Oceans Day on June 8 of each year — is reserved for each person to join us in honoring that great, salty body of water that covers more than 70 percent of our planet.

It wouldn’t be a World Oceans Day without celebrating the aesthetic beauty of the ocean. And we will do so by drooling over gorgeous photographs taken by explorer and photographer Brian Skerry. Brian is currently taking photographs in the Azores, and has been sending us live updates from the field about his trip and what it’s like to be a wildlife photographer. Read about his adventures and see his photos over at the Ocean Portal Brian Skerry Blog.

His work will be exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History early next year, but we need your help to build the exhibit! Brian has presented us with 11 amazing photographs of ocean organisms and ecosystems under threat, and we need your votes to help choose the best one. The winner will be included in the exhibition in February. Vote and learn more here.

But the ocean isn’t just pretty photos. For World Oceans Day, we will also highlight ocean science and conservation by broadcasting a conversation between renowned ocean explorer Sylvia Earle and a team of researchers working in the Galapagos. Earle’s feet will be firmly planted at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as she videochats with the researchers live from their research vessel to learn about their research on how coral reefs in the Galapagos cope with threats, including temperature change, acidification, and bleaching events. Then Earle will lead a panel of youth ocean leaders in a discussion of ocean conservation issues.

Thanks for joining us this World Oceans Day. And may each of your days be filled with the wonder of the ocean and learning!

World Ocean Day Recorded Webcast 2012

May 2012