Melting Antarctic Sea Ice Threatens Minke Whales (National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science)

In 2018, a team of scientists traveled to the peninsula to study minke whales, ultimately seeking to better understand the impact of climate change in this polar region.

Estuaries: Nature's Water Filters (Digital Coast)

Watch this cool animation to learn how estuaries filter our water. There's a pop quiz at the end to check what you learned!

What is an estuary?

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 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 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.

Maritime Forests (Ocean Today)

A maritime forest is a forest that is on the coast and is influenced by sea-spray.

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.

What are mesophotic coral ecosystems? (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.

Protecting Coral Reefs (Ocean Today)

Buck Island Reef National Monument lies one and a half miles north of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean.

Ocean as a Lab: Population Surveys (Ocean Today)

My name is John Hildenbrand, and I study the acoustics of whales and dolphins.

Ocean as a Lab: Line Islands Corals (Ocean Today)

My name is Stuart Sandin. I am a marine ecologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I do my research in the Line Islands.

Ocean as a Lab: Mangrove Forests (Ocean Today)

I'm Candy Feller. I work for the Smithsonian and I study mangroves in Belize. We are at Cattie Bow Cay; this is the Smithsonian Institution's marina field station.

Creatures of the Deep: Sea Spider (Ocean Today)

This creature was found 2300 feet deep in the ocean. It's a Sea spider, and ones living this at this depth can grow quite large, spanning almost 3 feet wide.

Creatures of the Deep: Chimaera (Ocean Today)

This creature was found 4,200 feet deep in the ocean. It’s called a Chimaera. This fish has no bones in its body; its skeleton is made of cartilage.

Creatures of the Deep: Basket Star (Ocean Today)

This creature was found 1800 feet deep in the ocean. It's called a Basket star. Basket stars are able to grow their limbs back if they are broken or chopped off by predators.

Creatures of the Deep: Angler Fish (Ocean Today)

This creature was found 1600 feet deep in the ocean. It's an Anglerfish, distinguished by the rod protruding from its head that it uses to attract prey.

Creatures of the Deep: Bathysaurus (Ocean Today)

This creature was found 6900 feet deep in the ocean. It's a Deepsea Lizardfish, also called a Bathysaurus Ferox. It is the world's deepest living superpredator; anything it meets, it eats.

First Sign of Climate Change (Ocean Today)

Dr. Martin Sommerkorn: We have lost Arctic sea ice at a drastic rate over the last couple of years, especially in 2007.

Sea Otters, Kelp, and Humans (Ocean Today)

How do you spend a typical morning? For a sea otter it may mean a breakfast of nutritious clams.

Pacific Flyway (Ocean Today)

As fall turns to winter, shorter days and cooler temperatures whisper a message to animals around the world that the time has come to move.

Dune Grass Planting (Ocean Today)

Laura Bankey: Today we are at Dam Neck Annex, part of Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Virginia, restoring sand dune habitat along the Atlantic coast.

Coral Restoration (Ocean Today)

These beautiful coral reefs are in serious trouble. They are being damaged or destroyed by pollution, disease, climate change, and a large number of ship groundings.

Gentle Giants: Goliath Grouper (Ocean Today)

Sometimes, while diving, you hear them before you see them. Then, their enormous outlines come into view. These gentle giants are goliath grouper, the largest of the groupers in the Atlantic basin.

Underwater Forests (Ocean Today)

Kelp forests can be seen along much of the west coast of North America. Kelp are actually large brown algae that live in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore.

Marine Protected Areas (Ocean Today)

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

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.

Marine Mammal Rescue (Ocean Today)

The Marine Animal Rescue Program was started in 1993 at the National Aquarium, and is responsible for responding to marine mammal and sea turtle strandings in Maryland.

Open Rivers, Abundant Fish (Ocean Today)

Many species of fish, including those that are important to the U.S. economy, migrate from the ocean to freshwater rivers and streams to spawn.

Saving a Bay -- Lavaca Bay Restoration (Ocean Today)

With fisherman, seabirds, and marshland, Lavaca Bay looks like any other peaceful coastal area… but things weren't always this serene.

Dolphins at the Doctor (Ocean Today)

Dolphins have a lot in common with humans. They breathe air, give birth to live young, and they also live in social groups.

Sea Otters 101 (Ocean Today)

In a quiet cove of Monterey Bay in Northern California, a female raft of sea otters is hanging out in a kelp bed.

The Wandering Seal (Ocean Today)

Deep into the foggy abyss of the central Bering Sea, the Pribilof Islands were found, not by sight, but by sound.

Underwater Vents and Volcanoes (Ocean Today)

Not too long ago, scientists studying the ocean made a fascinating discovery that has helped us better understand our planet Earth.

The Deep Ocean (Ocean Today)

The deep ocean. A place so different, filled with strange life forms. But what’s down there? How much do we know about it?

Protecting Titanic (Ocean Today)

More than two and half miles below the surface, the wreckage of the Titanic rests on the seafloor …… both as a memorial and a living laboratory.

News of the Day - Immortal Jellyfish (Ocean Today)

Scientists have discovered that a hydrozoan named Turritopsis nutricula is biologically immortal. But how is this possible? The key is in its life cycle.

Protecting Marine Life (Ocean Today)

You can just call it a galatheid crab or squat lobster. The creature feasts on wood that has sunk to the ocean floor.

Protecting Marine Life (Ocean Today)

Swim up North America's coast like a whale and you will see its vibrant and diverse life.

Discovering the Ocean's Secrets (Ocean Today)

Imagine going to work everyday in the ocean, to study the plants and animals that call it home. Scientists from Canada, Mexico, and the United States are benefitting from marine protected areas.

Connecting Us to Nature (Ocean Today)

Marine protected areas offer a perfect adventure. They are places to explore and enjoy nature in and around the waters of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Sustaining Communities (Ocean Today)

Every year, North America's Marine Protected Areas contribute millions of dollars to the economy. Much of the sustainably caught seafood you see in grocery stores and eat in restaurants comes from these areas.

How to Feed a Giant Octopus (Ocean Today)

This is the food for Reuben’s last supper. This is called a red rock crab – cancer productus. It has a hard shell and very sharp claws.

Happening Now: Arctic Sea Ice Sets Record Low (Ocean Today)

In 2012 analysis on Arctic sea ice conditions painted a grim picture. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the summer sea ice minimum extent dropped to its smallest size in recorded history.

Ocean Oases (Ocean Today)

The ocean floor just off the eastern United States is deeply carved with hidden canyons, teaming with exotic and breathtaking species of plants and animals.

All You Can Eat (Ocean Today)

Once limited to the Indo-Pacific region, lionfish have invaded the waters of The Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean.

Whale Sense (Ocean Today)

Watching whales in their natural habitat can be a breathtaking experience. This activity has become increasingly popular, now drawing over 13 million people a year.

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.

The Autonomous Underwater Glider (#ScienceAtSea)

On March 28, 2015, NOAA Ship Nancy Foster deployed an autonomous glider off the eastern coast of St. Croix. Diving down to depths of 656 feet, the glider moved westward along the southern edge of the shelf break. On the fifth day, shallow waters slowed progress, and the glider remained off the southwest coast. The glider will continue logging data until its retrieval later this month.

Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration (#ScienceAtSea)

Remotely Operated Vehicles provides scientists with "eyeballs" beneath the water to see the health of the ecosystem.

Ocean Gliders (#ScienceAtSea)

An ocean glider is an autonomous underwater vehicle used to collect ocean data. Scientists are now experimenting with using gliders to locate populations of spawning fish. The glider shown in this video is outfitted with an acoustic receiver to “listen” for vocalizations—grunting sounds—made by some fish as they mass together to spawn in the U.S. Caribbean.

Mapping the Seafloor (#ScienceAtSea)

Creating a habitat ecosystem map of the seafloor is a tricky process. Learn how it works in this two-minute video.

Animals of the Ice: Beluga Whales (Ocean Today)

Take a look in the shallow coastal waters of the Arctic, and you might just spot a beluga whale.

Animals of the Ice: Emperor Penguin (Ocean Today)

Their waddle has made them famous. Emperor penguins may just be the cutest creature in the world's coldest climate: Antarctica.

Animals of the Ice: Antarctic Krill (Ocean Today)

Krill are small crustaceans found throughout the ocean. They play an important role in the aquatic food chain, particularly in the Southern Ocean.

Animals of the Ice: Polar Bear (Ocean Today)

The Arctic circle is home to the largest bear in the world: the polar bear. You may be surprised to learn that the polar bear is actually considered a marine mammal.

Animals of the Ice: Walruses (Ocean Today)

The Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas are home to a hefty fellow: the walrus. These beasts use sea ice for resting and giving birth.

Our Debris Filling the Sea (Ocean Today)

What do a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic have in common? Unfortunately, it’s marine debris.

The Role of Ice in the Ocean: Pt. III: Shrinking Ice: Impacts (Ocean Today)

As Arctic ice continues to melt, it will cause ripple effects across the planet. When the polar regions warm, even just a degree, it disturbs atmospheric and oceanic patterns.

The Role of Ice in the Ocean: Pt. II: How Do We Measure Ice? (Ocean Today)

If all of the ice in the Arctic Circle were to melt, life as we know it would be dramatically different - and not in a good way.

The Role of Ice in the Ocean: Pt. I: What is Sea Ice and Why Is It Shrinking? (Ocean Today)

The Arctic region is hauntingly beautiful. It's a vast expanse of sea ice floating on water. Sea ice is actually frozen ocean water. It forms, grows, and melts in the ocean.

North America's Marine Protected Areas (Ocean Today)

A number of very special places dot the coastline of North America. These places are part of a growing network of Marine Protected Areas - like parks on land - but in the ocean.

How do sea turtles hatch? (Ocean Fact)

Baby sea turtles hatch from their nest en masse and then rush to the sea all together to increase their chances of surviving waiting predators.

The Depths Below: Ring of Fire (Ocean Today)

Orange and red flashes in the pitch black. Lava oozes from the cracks, and rolls across the ocean floor. Earthquakes rumble and roar as tectonic plates grate against each other.

Happening Now: Arctic Sea Ice on the Decline 2013 (Ocean Today)

As summer turns to Fall in the Arctic, the ice cover will shrink to its smallest extent for the year. After a record setting low in 2012, the 2013 summer sea ice extent rebounded – but only slightly.

Lessons from Valdez: 25 Years Later (Ocean Today)

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, rupturing the hull and spilling oil into the pristine waters of Alaska.

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.

Endangered Ocean: North Atlantic Right Whales (Ocean Today)

Did you know that North Atlantic Right Whales don't have teeth? They are baleen whales, which means they have comb-like plates in their mouths that filter food from the water.

The Mesophotic Zone (Ocean Today)

You’re entering another dimension. A dimension of water, of darkness, of mystery. Next stop, The Mesophotic Zone.

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.

TRASH TALK: Webinar (Ocean Today)

This pre-recorded webinar provides fun activities that you can organize after watching the TRASH TALK film! It's a perfect any-time event for museums, zoos, aquariums, learning centers and schools.

What can we do about marine debris? (Ocean Today)

We can change the way we consume and dispose of products. Keep your items from becoming litter in our oceans, rivers, and streams.

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? (Ocean Today)

Garbage patches are large areas of marine debris concentration that are formed by rotating ocean currents called gyres. A garbage patch is made up of tiny plastic pieces called “microplastics”.

Why is plastic marine debris so common? (Ocean Today)

We find plastic everywhere from the ocean's floor to surface. They are on beaches and inside animals' stomachs or wrapped around their bodies.

Where does marine debris come from? (Ocean Today)

Marine debris comes from many different sources and enters the ocean in many ways. Intentional littering and dumping are a big cause of marine debris.

How does marine debris impact the ocean, animals, and me? (Ocean Today)

Would you want to swim at a beach littered with trash? Of course not. And the animals who live in the ocean don't either - the difference is they don't have a choice.

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.

Endangered Ocean: Smalltooth Sawfish (Ocean Today)

Sawfish are large shark-like rays that are found in tropical and subtropical seas, rivers, and creeks, and can grow to 15 feet.

Happening Now: Arctic Sea Ice - On the Decline (Ocean Today)

As summer turns to Fall in the Arctic, the ice cover will shrink to its smallest extent for the year. This day is an important day because the measurement taken will be used to analyze the state of th ...

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