Habitat Destruction

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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (or the GBR as it is known to reef aficionados) stretches for more than 2,300 kilometers (over 1,429 miles) and can be seen from outer space. This largest barrier reef...
In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our...
Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation,...
What is coral bleaching? These white corals in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower...

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Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the reefs without cutting off communities from...
Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but...

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Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of...

The Ocean Blog

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water and onto the beaches of the remote ecosystem. Richard Carson...
When you are shopping for gifts and jewelry, steer clear of gifts that use real coral or other marine animal products. Deepwater pink and red corals in particular have been prized for their beauty in...
We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped...
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 Mexico that killed 11...
It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be scarce. The food that is around usually rains down from above as dead animals and organic particles from plankton living...
In California, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary provides protection to Great White Sharks and other species. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
This mangrove island in the Pelican Cays, Belize, was clear-cut and filled with dredged sand and coral from the adjacent reef flat. Developers are clearing and dredging mangroves in an attempt to...
Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these...
Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as they scramble, climb, crawl, and creep through the tangled roots of a mangrove forest. In this...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
The Brazilian Atlantic Islands site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001. The rich waters of the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll are extremely important for the breeding...
In the past 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef -- Australia's iconic natural wonder -- has lost half of its coral to a combination of forces. Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science at the...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill fish, is a practice used in many villages and isolated regions of the world. Hundreds of fish can be seen strewn across the...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can...
Red coral necklaces fill a store display window. The United States annually imports around one million live coral animals from tropical reefs for use in aquariums, and is the largest documented...
Watch a recorded webcast about the latest efforts in Greece to study and save the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands...
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