The Ocean


Mission Blue

PROJECT:Mission Blue: Bahamas Expedition


Join the Sylvia Earle Alliance and the Nature Conservancy as they explore the beautiful waters around the Bahamas, a critical Hope Spot.

Follow Sylvia's Blog

LOCATION: Bahama Islands

DATE: May 21-28, 2012

Photograph by Andre Axford Bryars, My Shot


Exploring the Deep Ocean

PROJECT: Nautilus Live


Follow along as Dr. Robert Ballard and his team undertake an exciting expedition on the E/V Nautilus to map the sea floor, study underwater volcanoes, investigate unusual life forms, explore shipwrecks, and more. It's all at

Watch Live »

LOCATION: Mediterranean Sea

DATE: July-September 2012

Photograph courtesy E/V Nautilus



PROJECT: ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-Identification Library


The ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-Identification Library is a visual database of whale shark encounters and individually catalogued whale sharks. Using cutting-edge software, photographs, and public sighting information, the library continues to collect and analyze data to learn more about the largest fish in the sea.

Learn More »

LOCATION: Whale shark range globally

DATE: Ongoing since 1995

Photograph Copyright Kurt Amsler/RolexAwards


Pitcairn Expedition

PROJECT: Pristine Seas: Pitcairn Islands Expedition


National Geographic explorers Enric Sala and Mike Fay explored and surveyed the state of Pitcairn’s marine and terrestrial areas and will propose recommendations to the Pitcairn community for the conservation of their resources.

Learn More

LOCATION: Pitcairn Islands

DATE: February-March 2012

Photograph by Enric Sala

Located all over the world, National Geographic explorers and grantees are working to investigate, map, and conserve unique and valuable marine animals and resources. Using the Live Expedition Tracker, learn about current and upcoming projects led by scientists and researchers who are using cutting-edge technology to explore the oceans.

Related Features

  • Photo: Submarine comes upon shipwreck

    Nautilus Live

    This summer descend into the unknown. Follow Dr. Robert Ballard and his team as they explore the ocean on the E/V Nautilus.

  • Photo: Fluorescent image of Lobophyllia hataii from the Great Barrier Reef.

    Exploring the Genetics of Deep Coral Reefs

    David Gruber searches for the far-red fluorescent protein, which may only exist at the deepest depth photosynthesis can occur.

  • Photo: Fish schooled into a vortex

    Pristine Seas Expeditions

    Pristine Seas is an exploration, research, and conservation project that aims to find, survey, and help protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean.

Ocean Topics

National Geographic Magazine

  • Photo: Waves crashing over rocks covered with sea grass and kelp

    Tide Pools Pictures

    A cast of thousands clings to rocky real estate in a narrow strip of shore called the intertidal zone.

  • Photo: Parrotfish smile, Heron Island Great barrier Reef, Australia

    Great Barrier Reef Photo Gallery

    From tiny coral polyps grew a marvel: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Could it all come crumbling down?

  • Photo: Seafloor bubbling due to the higher levels of CO2

    The Acid Sea

    Carbon dioxide we pump into the air is seeping into the ocean and slowly acidifying it.

Get More From the Magazine »

Your Ocean

  • Photo: Clown anemonefish

    For Kids

    Learn about the ocean with activities, photos, and games.

  • Photo: A school of fish and a shark swim in a coral reef.

    Ocean Education

    Bring engaging and important ocean learning to your classroom.

Support the Ocean

Explore the Ocean

  • shark-eden-ocena-store-promo.jpg

    Ocean Life

    Order ocean books, DVDs, maps, and more from the National Geographic online store.

  • Photo: Leopard seals on a glacier

    Ocean Special Issue

    Explore the world's oceans, from their prehistoric beginnings to modern-day efforts to preserve their natural wonder.

  • Photo: Ocean Atlas from National Geographic

    Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas

    Immerse yourself in the wonders of the deep through colorful maps, photos, and satellite images.

Engage, Conserve, Restore

  • Photo: Sunset at waterfalls

    Freshwater Initiative

    The National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative is a multi-year global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain.