Webinar Series

fish swimming around a coral reef

The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series provides educators, students, and the interested public with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy. This series generally targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g. after school programs, science centers, aquariums, etc.). However, the series is open to anyone interested in the topics listed below.

For distance learning programs about marine mammals and other protected species in the wild, please visit our Wildlife Viewing Guidelines and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' Marine Life Viewing Guidelines to ensure you are aware of the regulations.

Upcoming Webinars

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Washington CoastSavers: Working Together to Remove Marine Debris from our Beaches

February 27, 2024 at 3 pm Hawai`i / 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern

Megan Juran, Washington CoastSavers Coordinator

Join Washington CoastSavers Coordinator, Megan Juran, to hear about the work that partners and volunteers have been doing to clean marine debris off Washington’s Pacific Coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches. Learn about the successes of “Salish Synergy,” a recently completed NOAA Marine Debris Program grant that included an innovative international recycling component. Also, learn about an exciting new grant, “Clean Coast Quest!” made possible through Sea Grant/NOAA funding. She’ll also share CoastSavers’ latest projects, which include expanding cleanup efforts into the remote beaches of the Quinault Indian Nation, outreach with Taholah School, marine debris mapping of Olympic Peninsula beaches along with supporting annual cleanup efforts.

This webinar is co-sponsored by NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Feiro Marine Life Center.


Diseased corals on a reef. White bands separate sections of diseased coral, overgrown with algae, from the healthy part of the coral.

Chasing Microbes: Diving into the Mystery of Coral Disease

February 28, 2024 at 2:30 pm Hawai’I / 4:30 pm Pacific / 6:30 pm Central / 7:30 pm Eastern

Adrienne Correa, University of California, Berkeley, Laura Mydlarz, University of Texas Arlington, and Dan Holstein, Louisiana State University

Just like any other animal, coral can get sick. Coral diseases can harm whole ecosystems when they spread across reefs. In 2022, a mystery disease appeared on the magnificent reefs of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Join scientists in their efforts to identify the mystery disease, to predict how diseases may arrive at Flower Garden Banks, and to understand how the reef responds to pathogens, with invaluable lessons drawn from the outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease in Florida and the Caribbean. Explore the latest data on the Bank’s mystery disease as we dive into the depths of coral health research


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Heroism and Heartache: USS Cumberland’s Last Stand at Hampton Roads

March 6, 2024 at 8 a.m. Hawaii / 10 a.m. Pacific / 12 p.m. Central / 1 p.m. Eastern

Join John Pentangelo, director of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, for a discussion on USS Cumberland. Launched as a frigate in 1842 and later converted to a sloop-of-war, USS Cumberland fought at the Battle of Hampton Roads during the American Civil War.

Most people know this battle for the famous duel between the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia on March 9, 1862. But on March 8, Virginia destroyed both USS Cumberland and USS Congress, leading to the U.S. Navy’s worst defeat since its origins in 1775. This discussion will focus on Cumberland’s sinking, the crew’s response to the attack, public memory of the ordeal, and the recovery of artifacts from the wreck.

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is an official department of the Navy museum administered by the Naval History and Heritage Command. The museum interprets the history of the U.S. Navy in and around Hampton Roads, Virginia, from the Revolutionary War to the present day, for service members and the general public. Co-located with Nauticus in downtown Norfolk, the museum recently installed a new exhibit on the Battle of Hampton Roads as phase one of an exhibit on the Navy during the American Civil War.

We invite you to learn more by visiting our website.


Left from Right: A female scientist of color; a scenic photo of Tomales Bay with seagrass; a close-up photo of a seagrass blade; and a piece of equipment.

Plants Get Sick Too: Monitoring Seagrass Wasting Disease in a Changing Climate

March 19, 2024 at 12 pm Hawaii / 3 pm Pacific / 5 pm Central / 6 pm Eastern

Serina Moheed, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Davis and a Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar

With climate change, disease outbreaks are increasing in our ocean and it's crucial to understand how they are affecting foundationally important marine species such as seagrasses. Seagrass meadows provide habitat for an extraordinary number of different organisms, can protect coastlines against storms, and have the ability to store harmful greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere into the soil. Tomales Bay estuary in northern California holds an estimated 9% of the state's seagrass population, and while disease is present in the area, not much is known about if there are different pathogen strains within seagrass meadows. Join Serina Moheed as she talks about how she monitors seagrass wasting disease in the field (spoiler- it's muddy!), methods for analyzing the effects of the disease, and how in her opinion growing a marine pathogen in the lab can be much harder than taking care of a houseplant.


left: Dr. Julia Parrish; Top-middle: a seabird being measured;  Top-right:papers containing data; Bottom-right: COASST logo;

What's Washed In: Seabirds, Marine Debris, and Citizen Science

April 23, 2024 at 2 pm Hawai`i / 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern

Dr. Julia Parrish, Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)

Since the first surveys began in 1999, Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) has steadily expanded from a nucleus of five beaches along the southern outer coast of Washington State to nearly 450 beaches spread across northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Learn more about this West Coast citizen science program involving hundreds of participants collecting monthly data on the identity and abundance of beach-cast birds and marine debris, with the goal of creating the definitive baseline against which the impacts of any near-shore catastrophe could be measured.

This webinar is co-sponsored by NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Feiro Marine Life Center.