The Blue and You

The National Marine Sanctuary System protects more than 620,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes waters—but we can’t do it without you.

In this section, hear from Nature Knows Best host and Big Blue & You cofounder Danni Washington about the importance of fostering connections to the ocean in young people and creating a more inclusive ocean conservation movement. "By exposing youthful minds to our sanctuaries," Washington explains, "we are inspiring the next generation to fall in love with these aquatic treasures."

Then, take flight with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's Stellwagen Sanctuary Seabird Stewards program. These intrepid volunteer citizen scientists collect data on the sanctuary's seabirds, which in turn help sanctuary scientists and managers understand seabird populations over time.

Through K-12 education, sanctuaries help energize and teach the next generation of ocean stewards. Learn how across the country, Ocean Guardian schools are making commitments to the protection of local watersheds and the ocean through school- and community-based projects. And check out the Winged Ambassadors program, a partnership between Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge. This innovative program uses the charismatic albatross to teach ocean literacy to students grades six through 12.

Finally, check out the winners of last year's Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest and learn how you can submit to this year's contest to show us how your Earth is blue.

Image: Visitors enjoy tidepooling in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Olympic Coast National Park. Photo: David J. Ruck/NOAA