Basics:

The Coral Reef Economy

Coral reefs are one of Earth’s most productive ecosystems — both in terms of biology and cold, hard cash. Healthy coral reef ecosystems do everything from supporting millions of jobs to protecting lives and valuable coastal infrastructure, like hotels and roads, from storms and waves. In fact, each year coral reefs pump more than $3.4 billion into the U.S. economy And that’s a conservative estimate!


How do coral reefs benefit the economy?

Healthy coral reefs support commercial and subsistence fisheries as well as jobs and businesses through tourism and recreation. Approximately half of all federally managed fisheries depend on coral reefs and related habitats for a portion of their life cycles. The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates the commercial value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs is over $100 million.


What is a aquaculture?

Estuaries and their surrounding wetlands are bodies of water usually found where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries are home to unique plant and animal communities that have adapted to brackish water—a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salty seawater.


What is a rip current?

Invasive species can harm both the natural resources in an ecosystem as well as threaten human use of these resources. An invasive species can be introduced to a new area via the ballast water of oceangoing ships, intentional and accidental releases of aquaculture species, aquarium specimens or bait, and other means.


What is an invasive species?

Invasive species can harm both the natural resources in an ecosystem as well as threaten human use of these resources. An invasive species can be introduced to a new area via the ballast water of oceangoing ships, intentional and accidental releases of aquaculture species, aquarium specimens or bait, and other means.


What is a wetland?

There are many different kinds of wetlands and many ways to categorize them. NOAA classifies wetlands into five general types: marine (ocean), estuarine (estuary), riverine (river), lacustrine (lake), and palustrine (marsh). Common names for wetlands include marshes, estuaries, mangroves, mudflats, mires, ponds, fens, swamps, deltas, coral reefs, billabongs, lagoons, shallow seas, bogs, lakes, and floodplains, to name just a few!


What is a hurricane?

A tropical cyclone is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organized thunderstorms but no fronts (a boundary separating two air masses of different densities). Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph) are called tropical depressions. Those with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher are called tropical storms.


Introduction - Ocean Exploration and Bioluminescence (Ocean Today)

Symone Johnson - Shark Researcher and Knauss Fellow, NOAA narrates the first Full Moon series introduction. The ocean covers two-thirds of our planet but we know more about Mars than the deep seas.


Light It Up Activity Demo (Ocean Today)

We take it for granted, but when you think about it, light is amazing. light allows us to see the world around us.


What is ocean etiquette? (Ocean Fact)

Wildlife viewing is a popular recreation activity, but it is important to know how to interact with ocean wildlife so that you can make the right decisions. Irresponsible human behavior can disturb animals, destroy important habitats, and even result in injury to animals and people.


Rip Current Science (Ocean Today)

You might have heard them referred to as “undertow” or “rip tides,” but these ocean phenomena are actually rip currents.


Ocean Safe with Bruckner Chase (Ocean Today)

Bruckner Chase is an endurance waterman with a lifetime of experience in the ocean. Check out his advice on how to stay safe in the ocean.


Motion in the ocean (Podcast)

You know about ocean tides, but how much do you know about ocean currents? Watch our three-minute video podcast to learn what puts the motion in the ocean.


What is an estuary? (Ocean Fact)

Sonar, short for Sound Navigation and Ranging, is helpful for exploring and mapping the ocean because sound waves travel farther in the water than do radar and light waves.


Sylvia Earle TED Winner (Ocean Today)

Sylvia Earle - TED speech.


Marine Protected Areas (Ocean Today)

Chances are you've visited a Marine Protected Area and didn't even know it.


Tsunami Awareness (Ocean Today)

When you're in a coastal area, it's important to keep alert for messages from local officials, such as lifeguards, police, The US Tsunami Warning Centers and NOAA All Hazards Radio.


Wetlands Restoration (Ocean Today)

Wetlands are among the richest and most diverse places on earth. Thousands of fish, mammals and birds call the wetlands home.


The Acid Test (Ocean Today)

Scientists refer to ocean acidification as the other carbon problem. The first, of course, is global warming.


Hurricane Storm Surge (Ocean Today)

Powerful winds aren't the only deadly force during a hurricane. The greatest threat to life actually comes from the water - in the form of storm surge.


Fuel for the Storm (Ocean Today)

We've all heard that hurricanes are one of the most powerful and destructive forces on Earth. But did you ever wonder where they get their strength?


Know Your Ocean (Ocean Today)

Even though the ocean covers seventy percent of the Earth's surface, people tend to know more information about land than the sea.


Ethical Angler (Ocean Today)

In the U.S., fishing is a national pastime. Nearly 12 million people call themselves saltwater anglers. And marine fishing is more than a hobby – this sport contributes $56 billion a year to the U.S. economy.


Water Cycle (Ocean Today)

You may think every drop of rain falling from the sky, or each glass of water you drink, is brand new, but it has always been here, and is a part of the water cycle.


What is marine debris? (Ocean Today)

Have you ever been to the beach and noticed litter, like plastic bottles or foam take-out containers on the sand? Or maybe you’ve been to a river or bay where there’s a car tire or bags in the water.


TRASH TALK: Special Feature (Ocean Today)

Trash Talk: a regional Emmy-award winning documentary about marine debris.


Rip Current Safety For Kids (Ocean Today)

We all love the beach in the summer. The sun, the sand, and the surf. But just because we're having fun, doesn't mean we can forget about safety.


Deep Ocean Creatures (Ocean Today)

Aloha and good morning, everyone. We’re looking at places that no one has looked before. And this is part of NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.


Bioluminescence (Ocean Today)

Bioluminescence is a chemical process that allows living things to produce light.


El Niño and La Niña Explained (Ocean Today)

Warmer or colder than average ocean temperatures in one part of the world can influence weather around the globe.


Observing El Niño (Ocean Today)

El Niño and La Niña are periodic weather patterns resulting from interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere in the tropical Pacific Ocean.


The Last Grand Challenge (Ocean Today)

Exploring the earth’s oceans is probably the last grand challenge we have on this planet.


Rip Current Survival Guide (Ocean Today)

A rip current is a narrow, fast-moving channel of water that starts near the beach and extends offshore through the line of breaking waves.


Break the Grip of the Rip (Ocean Today)

We all love the beach in the summer. The sun, the sand, and the surf. But just because we're having fun, doesn't mean we can forget about safety.


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