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Journeying Oregon’s New Marine Reserves by Bike: Cascade Head

By Chris Rurik and Helen Helfand Part 1   Part 2  Terry Thompson finds us in a parking lot in Lincoln City. After traversing this strip of a town all morning, looking for signs of the marine reserve just offshore, we have ended up outside the uninspiring four-story city administration building with little to show for…

Help National Geographic Give on #GivingTuesday

This #GivingTuesday, explore the ways we give around the world and the stories we bring back, and help us keep up National Geographic’s legacy of protecting wildlife, wild landscapes, and human cultures around the world.

Food Species Top the Latest Additions to The IUCN Red List

The IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia saw the release of the latest update to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ in front of a global audience of protected area professionals, conservationists, government representatives, and business leaders. These leaders consistently agreed that survival of many species depends on the conscious interaction between our…

Hōkūle‘a: Breathing Deeply and Treading Softly

It’s been two weeks since arriving in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to continue the Worldwide Voyage, which on this leg is inside New Zealand itself! One of our stops was the Waipoua Forest along the Hokianga coast to see the mighty kauri trees that lived therein.

Giving Thanks for a Life-Changing Adventure—And More

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for one simple act that set my life’s course. Shortly after high school graduation, I picked up an issue of National Geographic magazine with a story about the Coast Guard. I read about dramatic rescues at sea, about making the Mississippi River safe for ships and barges, and about ships that…

Japan-based NGO Peace Boat sets sail from Yokohama

Hundreds of spectators gathered on the wooden decking of Yokohama’s Osanbashi international terminal to wave goodbye to Peace Boat’s 86th Voyage this Friday. Some huddled around home-made placards bearing the names of friends and relatives onboard, others held aloft renditions of Yokohama’s Bay Bridge, and one group had outfitted themselves in Santa Claus getups for…

Hōkūle‘a: Return to Aotearoa

After almost six months since departing from Hawai‘i, the Worldwide Voyage arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to a Maori welcoming ceremony that was not only stunning to see, but historical as well.

Fishing for Our Future With Lures From the Past

Nahaku Kalei explains more about sustainable fish-eating and the data being gathered by the Worldwide Voyage.

It’s Time for a Sea Party!

Tired of the political gridlock in Washington and elections that don’t get us anything but unlimited corporate campaign spending and attack ads? Go take a dip in the ocean and get over yourself. We don’t have time for cynicism or despair. We’ve got a job to do if we’re going to save the crucible of…

TODAY: Chat With National Geographic Explorer Enric Sala

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a National Geographic Explorer? Here’s your chance to connect directly with someone who has ventured to unexplored areas, discovered previously unknown life forms, taken stunning photographs, and put it all to work to help protect some of the last wild places on Earth. From the Russian Arctic to…

Are Marine Protected Areas in the Right Places to Protect People, or Just Nature?

Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy I’m at the World Parks Congress, a-once-a-decade global meeting of scientists, protected area managers and other experts to focus on the state and future of national parks and nature reserves. There’s so much to talk about here—new science and technologies to monitor parks, ways to engage local…

Mapping Global Fishing Activity for Anyone to See

When it comes to ocean conservation, these seem to be somewhat optimistic times. The oceans are under a greater threat than ever before, but we have been lucky to see a number of ocean-related successes in recent years. There is an increased understanding by the general public about seafood sustainability and the impact of overfishing.…

Gabon Announces Protection of 23 Percent of Its Waters

The announcement by President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon means that whales, sharks, turtles, rays, and countless other marine species in jeopardy from industrialization and overfishing will now have a blue haven on the West African coast.

Surfing Explorers “Stoked to Collect Data”

While traveling the world in search of un-surfed waves, the crew from SurfEXPLORE participates in ocean research through the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation Microplastics project.

A Massive New Marine Protected Area Network in Gabon

By John Robinson

The first day of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant win for the oceans. The President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced the decision to create a new marine protected area network of ten marine parks covering more than 18,000 square miles (over 46,000 square kilometres). The network – encompassing about 23 percent of Gabon’s territorial waters and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) – will safeguard whales, sea turtles, and other marine species inhabiting the nation’s coastal and offshore ecosystems. As the President noted in his speech, this puts Gabon “near the 20 to 30 percent that marine biologists tell us is needed to maintain biodiversity and restore depleted areas outside parks.” This is a massive increase from the 1 percent of marine area currently protected by Gabon.