Smithsonian Institution

The Ocean is important to all life, including yours. Join us. Welcome to the Ocean Portal – a unique, interactive online experience that inspires awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the world’s Ocean, developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and more than 20 collaborating organizations. You are among the first wave of visitors to the Portal, an experience which we hope will empower you to shape and share your personal Ocean experiences, knowledge, and perspectives. The input you provide through feedback modules and comment boxes will help us to shape future Ocean Portal content and functionality. Like the Ocean, which is made of millions of marine species, your comments, questions, and clicks will help to bring the Portal closer to the vastness and variety of the Ocean itself.

Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Explore the west with the famous expedition of Lewis and Clark, and learn about the many species of plants and animals they described during their trip.

Backyard Naturalist with National Geographic

In this National Geographic activity, students discover the natural wonders of their own neighborhood. They learn about local flora and fauna in order to answer questions as they tour ecosystems in and around where they live...

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

The Ha Long Bay site in Vietnam was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994. The site's 1,600 islands and islets form a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars surrounded by species-rich waters, including a tremendous...

Shiretoko, Japan

The Shiretoko site in Japan was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site’s key feature is its exceptional productivity, largely resulting from the formation of relatively low-latitude seasonal sea ice, which...

Sundarbans National Park, India

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 rare and endangered...

Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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 and Mexico, with major...

Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

The Socotra Archipelago site in Yemen was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. The marine life is diverse and includes 283 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of crab, lobster, and shrimp...

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef site in Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. The site is the world’s most extensive stretch of coral reef with probably the richest animal diversity anywhere. There are over 1,...

Sharks Smell in Stereo

Do Sharks Smell in Stereo? The latest “Citizens of the Sea” post from Dr. Nancy Knowlton

St. Kilda, United Kingdom

The St. Kilda site in the United Kingdom was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986. The volcanic archipelago and surrounding marine waters have some of the highest cliffs in Europe and host large colonies of rare and...

Gough and Inaccessible Islands, United Kingdom

The Gough and Inaccessible Islands site in the United Kingdom was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1995. The site, located in the south Atlantic, is one of the least-disrupted island and marine ecosystems in the cool...

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