Dolphins swimming among a school of sardines in the ocean (© Getty Images/Dmitry Miroshnikov)

Our Ocean, One Future

September 15-16, 2016
Washington, DC
#OurOcean

Protecting Our Ocean

Map of Australia partially shaded (State Dept.)

Our ocean needs to be protected

Fish and other marine life need safe havens to thrive. That's why more of the world's ocean is being set aside in marine protected areas.
Aerial view of Hawaiian islands (NASA)

In Hawaii, Pacific leaders set course to protect the planet

World leaders making up the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress travel to Hawaii for the 2016 conference.
Diver at reef (Steve de Neef)

Diving into conservation made her a leader — and a ‘mermaid’

Having seen the beauty of marine life, and ocean pollution, diver Anna Oposa realized that the sea needs protection, so she started Save Philippine Seas.

Sanctuaries save the creatures of the sea

Marine sanctuaries protect nature while allowing people to use the waters sustainably. On World Ocean Day, read about U.S. marine sanctuaries.
Canoe in water in front of Washington Monument (© Oiwi Television Network)

With ancient techniques, this canoe charts a new course for the ocean

A new generation of voyagers aboard the Hōkūle’a, a 62-foot voyaging canoe, is on a 60,000-nautical-mile voyage around the world.
Regal blue tang fish swimming near colorful coral reef (Shutterstock)

To protect coral reefs, keep Dory swimming [video]

Conservationists urge people to leave the regal blue tang, the fish star of "Finding Dory," in the wild to protect precious coral reefs.
Whale tail lifting out of water (NOAA)

Here’s a new way for boats to steer clear of whales

Whale Alert provides a real-time display of the ocean and a ship’s position, along with information about where whales have been seen or heard recently.

Marine Pollution

Fish made of recycled products in front of State Department (State Dept./D.A. Peterson)

Ocean art at State Department illustrates threat to marine life

A colorful fish made of plastic debris recovered from the ocean is displayed outside of the State Department to bring awareness of polluted waters.
Silhouette of angel fish in front of plastic bottles (State Dept./L. Rawls)

Our ocean should be trash-free

Scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. It's not too late to act and protect #OurOcean: Learn what you can do.
Shoreline covered with plastic soda bottles (Shutterstock)

Tide turns against plastic ocean pollution

From the deep sea to Arctic ice, oceans are under enormous stress from millions of tons of plastic trash, which can remain in the environment for centuries.
Four-propeller plane flying over river (© AP Images)

Solar pilot: ‘I flew over plastic waste as big as a continent’

During his solar-powered plane ride over the Pacific Ocean, pilot Bertrand Piccard saw a troubling scene: a mass of plastics polluting the water.

Are you washing your face with plastic?

Plastic microbeads, found in cosmetic products and soaps, slip through drainage filtration systems and into waterways, harming fish and the environment.
Different types of waste floating underwater (© AP Images)

Pacific garbage soup is entering the food chain. Why you should worry [video]

A massive amount of the world’s garbage has found its way to the central Pacific Ocean. Ocean pollution is an urgent issue; learn more.
Women picking from garden with bowl of strawberries in foreground (© AP Images)

Will silk replace plastic and prevent food waste?

About half of the produce grown for human consumption spoils. A silk protein could keep food from going to waste and reduce the need for plastics.

Impact of Climate Change

Beluga whales swimming (© AP Images)

Webcam whale research buoyed by viewers around the world

Scientists are crowdsourcing data to learn more about beluga whales, their social behaviors and how their environment is affected by climate change.
Person with boat in water at sunset (© AP Images)

Haunting melodies can help you hear climate change [video]

Music has always been a useful tool to raise awareness and prompt action on important issues, and global warming is no different. Listen to these sounds.
Crab walking on beach (Shutterstock)

Why should we care if shore crabs can’t smell?

Greenhouse gases are altering ocean chemistry. The acidification is damaging marine creatures and their ability to avoid predators and find food and mates.
Surfer riding wave (© AP Images)

Surfers doing science in the breakers

Who needs a lab coat when you have a wet suit? These citizen scientists are helping collect oceanic data by using SmartFin technology when they surf.
Live corals moving in current (© antos777/Shutterstock)

How climate change is harming coral reefs

Anybody near a coral reef could see climate change in action soon. Scientists predict warmer ocean waters are likely to cause more coral-bleaching events.

Sustainable Fisheries

Our Ocean fish infographic of fork, knife and plate depicting the world (State Dept.)

Our ocean feeds the world

Fisheries face challenges that could mean the loss of food and jobs for billions. World leaders will meet at the Our Ocean conference, September 15–16.
Tiger shark with mouth open (Shutterstock)

Not in our soup: U.S. businesses embrace sustainable fishing

High-profile U.S. companies are taking action to save marine life because bad fishing practices are harming ocean resources.
School of Atlantic bluefin tuna (NOAA)

Save sea life. Stop illegal fishing.

Pirates are stealing food from the world's table. A U.S. presidential task force is pushing for "aggressive steps" to stop illegal and unregulated fishing.
Man looking at fish in aquarium (© AP Images)

Speedy fish can’t outswim human demand

Humans depend on fish and oceans for survival, and the world is finally waking up to the dangers of overfishing and the importance of preserving fisheries.

At ground zero for climate change, traditions and livelihoods hang in the balance

People across the Arctic are facing extreme weather, unpredictable hunting seasons, unstable ice and other effects of global warming. What can they do?

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Marine protected areas (State Dept.)

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Our Ocean Fish Infographic

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Read more about Our Oceans.