When you look at our planet from space, one thing is abundantly clear: Earth Is Blue. Our planet is an ocean planet, and whether you live near the coast or a thousand miles from it, the ocean is part of your life. From providing the food we eat to determining our weather, the ocean matters to each of us -- and the National Marine Sanctuary System protects this vital resource.
With that in mind, the photos and videos of Earth Is Blue bring these ocean treasures directly to smartphones and computers all over the world, where they can serve as a tangible reminder that no matter where you are, the ocean and Great Lakes are in your hands. We hope these images inspire you to help care for our ocean and to spread the word that Earth isn't green -- it's blue.
Join us on and submit your own photos.
Every year, albatrosses like this pair of black-footed albatrosses in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument travel miles and miles -- some ending up in West Coast sanctuaries like Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary! As they make their journey from breeding to feeding grounds, they forage for fish at the ocean's surface. But with plastics littering our sea, many albatrosses wind up ingesting bits of plastic rather than fish -- and may even regurgitate some of that plastic to feed their young. The Winged Ambassadors curriculum helps teach students how to track albatross migration and how we can all help reduce marine debris. (Photo: Mark Sullivan/NOAA)
Not all animals in national marine sanctuaries live in the water. Birds are among the most visible elements of biodiversity in the marine environment. By tracking bird populations, scientists can better understand the state and health of the marine ecosystems that our communities and economies depend on.