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Are You Smarter Than An Octopus?

Oct 16, 2018.
A common octopus photographed in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Savannah, GA. Photo Credit: Greg McFall, NOAA

By Julienne Beblo, guest author   You have probably heard that octopuses are thought to be one of the most intelligent animals in the world, but what does that mean? How are we able to judge animal intelligence and why are octopuses so intriguing?   Humans, according to humans, are ranked at the top of…

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Marine Mammals of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Oct 16, 2018.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It is a whopping 6,094 square miles of protected, enchanting ocean off California’s coast that’s just ripe for research, tourism, and conservation. It’s called the “Serengeti of the Sea” — a thriving, marine melting pot featuring nearly 200 species of shorebirds and seabirds and over 500 species of fish, invertebrates,…

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Creature Feature: Lionfish

Oct 10, 2018.
the exotic lionfish

Lionfish (Scientific names: Pterois volitans: red lionfish and Pterois miles: devil firefish) are native to the Indo-Pacific region, however, it is appearing more in Atlantic waters and is now considered an invasive species to this area. It has long been a favorite ornamental fish for home aquariums, which might account for its arrival to the southeastern U.S. coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, and…

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What Makes Manta Rays and Stingrays Different?

Oct 9, 2018.
Stingray vs Manta Ray

Manta rays and stingrays are both members of the Chondrichthyes class, which also includes species like sharks. These species are related due to their cartilaginous (the material in our noses and ears) skeletons. Manta rays and stingrays have large, flat body shapes are very similar with heads fused directly to wide pectoral fins used for…

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So You Want a Career in Marine Conservation

Aug 28, 2018.
Monitoring programs at National Marine Sanctuaries (NOAA)

Working in marine and conservation is a dream job for many, but some people don’t pursue it as a career because they think it is only for people who have a Ph.D. in marine science. That is not the case. The industry has a place (and need) for all kinds of professionals and passionate people….

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Goliath Grouper – Habitat, Diet, and Reproduction

Aug 3, 2018.
Florida Keys' Goliath Grouper

Swimming through the stunning waters of the Florida Keys is always an amazing experience. What if during your next dive you came face-to-face with a 10-foot long, 700+ pound Goliath grouper? These gentle giants, also known as Epinephelus itajara, are a critically endangered species due to overfishing in the past. Today, the populations of these massive groupers…

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Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks – Facts and Conservation

Jul 27, 2018.

Hammerhead sharks have a distinctive profile and are one of the easiest sharks to identify. Physical description Scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna Iewini) have a thick, wide head shaped like a double-headed hammer with its eyes and gills on the end. Different from other hammerheads, they have an indentation in a central location on the front part…

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Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2018

Jul 26, 2018.
Capitol Hill Week 2018

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation wrapped up Capitol Hill Ocean Week, concluding three days of deep dives on the most pertinent ocean science, policy and conservation issues. 16 panels, including a keynote address by NOAA’s RDML Gallaudet, delved into our changing ocean, working together for sustainable waters, and  the exploration of marine ecosystems. To see…

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New Legislation Introduced to Fight Ocean Acidification

Jul 26, 2018.
In laboratory experiments, this pterapod shell dissolved over the course of 45 days in seawater adjusted to an ocean chemistry projected for the year 2100. Photo credit: NOAA

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Congressmen Don Young and Derek Posey introduced HR 6267 to amend the Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act (FOARAM) at the end of June. This bill expands upon the 2009 Act, which established the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification and coordinates acidification research and management activities across the Federal…

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Plastic Pollution: One of Ocean Conservation’s Grand Challenges

Jul 25, 2018.
Marine debris

More than 300 million tons are produced each year, yet only 10% of plastic products get recycled. The rest goes into the trash and much of it ends up in the ocean. It is estimated that as much as 7 million tons of plastic are added to waterways each year. The New York Times recently reported on one study…

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