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Marine Life

Queen angelfish
Queen angelfish,Holacanthus ciliaris, and rock beauty, Holacanthus
Andrew David, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC Panama City; Lance Horn, UNCW/NURC - Phantom II ROV operator.

marine lifeLiving organisms fill our ocean, estuaries, and coastal areas. These organisms take many forms from the tiniest single-cell plankton, to the largest mammal on Earth, the blue whale, and the largest colonial organism, the coral reef. Expanding our knowledge of the life cycle, habits, habitats, and inter-relationships of marine life is important to our understanding of the planet. Human interactions, influences, and reliance on these species as well as changing environmental conditions will determine the future health of these marine inhabitants. Toxic spills, oxygen depleted dead zones, marine debris, increasing ocean temperatures, overfishing, and shoreline development are daily threats to the existence of marine life. Part of NOAA's mission is to help protect these organisms and their habitats to ensure a sustainable balance of life.

The collections in this thematic area provide educational resources to increase the understanding of marine life, the pressures that threaten their existence, and the role each of us play in the stewardship of marine ecosystems.

Sources: NOAA Fisheries Service, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Topical Resource Link Collections
Aquatic Food Webs

Aquatic Food Webs

Education resources focused on aquatic food webs in marine and freshwater environments and the threats to their sustained health....Read more
Coral Ecosystems

Coral Ecosystems

Resources highlighting the biology of, threats to, and conservation of coral ecosystems....Read more
Life In An Estuary

Life In An Estuary

Education resources that provide an introduction to estuary ecosystems, the organisms that live there, and stewardship of estuarine resources....Read more
Marine Mammals

Marine Mammals

Lessons and resources for educators to use when teaching about the adaptations, population dynamics, and threats to marine mammals....Read more
Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

Education resources that highlight sea turtle biology, ecology and the threats to these threatened species...Read more