The Ocean

At the 2011 Summit at Sea, business leaders, artists, non-profit founders, and others are gathering to discuss the present and the future, and specifically how we can all help address the problems facing the ocean. View some of the most creative, catchy, or otherwise interesting submissions below, then place your vote for the Viewers' Choice Best Big Idea. Come back next week to see which idea rises to the top, and to learn more about how it will be put into action.

Ocean Innovations

  • Picture of Kevin O'Malley with fluke in Montauk, NY

    New Models for Conservation

    National Geographic's Ocean Initiative is helping identify and support individuals and organizations that are using creative and entrepreneurial approaches to marine conservation.

More About the Ocean

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    Find Healthy and Sustainable Seafood

    Are you eating the right seafood? The Seafood Decision Guide will help you determine the impact of your seafood choices on your health and the health of the ocean.

  • Photo: Fishermen with their tuna catch in Spain

    Protecting the Ocean

    The oceans are facing threats from many sides. Learn about the issues—pollution, overfishing, and global warming chief among them—and the possible solutions.

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    Video: NG Live! Pitcairn Islands

    National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala dives deep into the waters of one of the most pristine places on Earth—the Pitcairn Islands—only to discover its delicate ecosystem is not as unspoiled as it may seem.

  • Photo: Enric Sala

    Enric Sala, Marine Ecologist

    Witnessing the harm people do to the oceans led Enric Sala to dedicate his career to mitigating human impact on marine life.

Why We Need Marine Reserves



Ninety percent of the large predators in the ocean are gone and their populations have collapsed. The reason for this is that we have taken too many fish out of the sea, and we keep taking more before the remaining populations are able to reproduce.


Watch this video where Mel, the “very weird” fish, will show you how marine reserves can help fish populations recover, and why we need many more.


Learn More

Ocean Topics

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.

Marine Recreation Workshop

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    Online Toolkit

    National Geographic Education Programs supports the marine recreation community through a shared goal of raising public awareness about ocean conservation and inspiring people to help protect the vital natural resources that the ocean provides.

Explore the Ocean

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    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

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    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.