ocean impact

1 M
square kilometers of marine protected areas established.
Pristine Seas expeditions.
litter items tracked in "Sea to Source" to understand how plastic waste travels along the Ganges River system.

Revealing and protecting underwater worlds.

Our Ocean work aims to explore, understand, and conserve marine and coastal systems. Across topics like oceanography, marine/coastal ecology, climate science, ocean exploration technology, community-based conservation, and related fields — our goal is to inspire and empower people across the globe to better understand and protect the world’s ocean. 

As vast as the ocean itself, the stories that derive from our ocean Explorers inspire us to connect with the ocean and work toward finding solutions to protect it. As of today, we  have helped protect millions of square kilometers of ocean through our Explorer-led programs. 


featured program

Pristine Seas

National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala and a team of determined scientists, storytellers, and policy experts launched the Pristine Seas project in 2008 to explore and help inspire the protection of the world’s ocean. Together, they are working to inspire the creation of protected areas where marine life can thrive — while ensuring effective management for years to come.

In the field

Our Ocean Explorers

From shallow coastal tides to the depths of the sea, they reveal underwater worlds that sustain life on Earth.

Our Explorers have embarked on groundbreaking expeditions — they’ve discovered new marine life, uncovered significant pieces of human history, created several important marine life reserves supporting both wildlife and local communities, and inspired countless others to explore the ocean. They are determined photographers, marine biologists, scientists, policy experts, and filmmakers working to protect marine life and ensure its survival. 

Read more stories of impact from some of our Ocean Explorers on nationalgeographic.com

Jahawi Bertolli: Telling the story of the ocean

Salome Buglass: Protecting underwater mountain systems

David Gruber: Researching with respect and a gentler touch

Asha de Vos: From childhood dreaming to pioneering explorer

Sylvia Earle: Exploring and protecting the ocean for seven decades

An Explorer's perspective on

Making a difference

"When humans truly grasp the fact that everything is connected and that our actions or inactions ultimately affect ourselves. Maybe we'll cherish this planet like a jewel. I believe that through good science and storytelling, this can be achieved."
Brian Skerry
National Geographic Explorer & Photographer
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Help us protect the ocean

Inspire the next generation to save our oceans

Our oceans are key to our planet's survival. With our ocean resources, educators can bring engaging and important lessons and activities to learners everywhere and encourage young people to protect our marine ecosystems.

Support our work

We believe that when people understand our world and have deep, emotional connection to its natural and cultural wonders, they’ll take action to support and protect them. Will you help protect the wonder of our marine world?

Photo Credits from top of page: Enric Sala, Manu San Félix, Steve De Neef, Joe McKendry (illustration), Manu San Félix, Octavio Aburto. Below: Michael Nichols, Andy Mann, Paul Nicklen, Ami Vitale, Christian Tryon, Kenneth Garrett, Mark Thiessen.

Get updates about our critical work to explore and protect our planet.

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Your impact begins today

By joining the Society, you will fund Explorers working to save wildlife, protect our oceans and ecosystems, preserve our ancient heritage, and solve the planet’s mysteries and challenges.