Coral Reef Ecosystems
Species on the Reef

Discover the biodiversity that lives among the national marine sanctuary coral reefs! From sea turtles to parrot fish, coral reefs are a home, breeding ground, and sanctuary for a variety of species.

Coral reef

Creatures of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

It's time for some introductions! Meet the creatures that call Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary home in our Earth Is Blue Video!

Colorful fishes

Endemism in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Protected by Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument the deep reefs of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands have the highest proportion of the endemism in the world!

A parrotfish

Parrotfish in the Sanctuary System

Dive into NOAA's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and listen in to the Parrotfish chomping on a reef! Learn about this toothy fish found in sanctuaries and monuments across our system in our #EarthIsBlue​ video!

A close up of a seal

Animals in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The Florida Keys offer a range of habitats, providing homes to a wide variety of animals. The approximately 1,700 mangrove-fringed islands of the Keys provide important nursery habitat for commercial fish species, as well as above-water nesting grounds for vibrant bird populations.

An octopus on a coral reef

Animals of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary features a wide variety of species. The animals within recreational dive limits (0-130 ft / 0-40 m deep) or moving around on the water's surface are the ones most often seen. We refer to these as coral cap species.