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In the Ocean

A Blueprint for Healthy Coasts

Ecosystems on the Edge: The Urgency to Act

Imagine coasts that sustain us in every way—from food to flood protection. Coastal ecosystems are invaluable, but they’re at risk. We’re not just studying them; we’re crafting actionable solutions.

Join Our Mission

We need you—future scientists, leaders, and ocean enthusiasts—to help us preserve our coasts for generations to come. Your support makes a future of vibrant and resilient coastal ecosystems possible.


Discover the Wonder

Unlocking Ocean Secrets: Over 90% of marine biodiversity is undiscovered. Our research aims to illuminate the unknown for smarter conservation.

Informed and Inspired: We make science accessible to everyone—from kids to policymakers—to spark action and cultivate ocean ambassadors.


Resilience at Sea

Blue Carbon: Our efforts focus on preserving carbon-storing ecosystems like marshes and mangroves. We’ll help develop rigorous accounting standards and recommend actionable solutions.

Reef Resilience: We identify resilient coral and oyster species to inform reef management and support communities.


Coastal Communities

Urban Coasts: We’re working to protect estuarine cities from flooding and pollution. Our efforts will fill data gaps and set standards for effective management.

Resilient Governance: Our partnerships with coastal communities aim to co-create marine policies that can weather any storm.

Local Wisdom, Global Action: Our globally respected networks in coastal ecology inform our tools inspired by local expertise.

Saving Coral

Throughout the world coral reefs are dying. The Smithsonian is fighting back.

Locally, reefs are damaged by pollution, nutrients and sedimentation from poor land-use, fishing and mining practices. Globally, increased greenhouse gases are warming and acidifying oceans, making corals more susceptible to stress, bleaching and newly emerging diseases, causing a widespread reef crisis. The National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is fighting back with innovative tech that freezes coral cells, keeping them safe for the future. They’ve already stored cells from 16 different coral species, adding up to trillions of sperm and billions of larvae cells. Researchers are also looking at saving the algae vital to reefs and other key species like sea urchins. This could help reefs bounce back and continue to support marine life and our own well-being.


Dive into the Ocean Portal

Find Your Blue

Discover the mysterious and the familiar of our oceans—from unique marine life to art inspired by oceanic wonders. Meet the scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to uncovering ocean secrets.


Your Global Ocean Health Tracker

Join a global network committed to monitoring the well-being of coastal marine life. MarineGEO tracks vital signs, uncovers causes of change, and provides science-backed solutions for a resilient coast—all using harmonized methods.

Coastal Carbon Network

A Collaborative Research Hub

Connect with a diverse group of experts—biogeochemists, ecologists, and coastal managers—to gain access to data and tools that help us understand our coasts better. Our Data Clearinghouse makes it easy to access, visualize, and interpret data.