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These seas could harbor living fossils—prehistoric relics dating back tens or hundreds of millions of years.

Celebes Sea

Low sea levels during ancient times kept the basins here isolated from each other, which may have allowed unique species to develop within them.

Andaman Sea

In the shallow Lanah Bay, 80 to 90 percent of the 15-foot-high Porites coral colonies were knocked over. These corals take up to 700 years to grow.

These coral reefs serve as an economic center for the international dive-tourism industry.


The Aquarium's Giant Ocean Tank in Boston holds 200,000 gallons; it's so big that the tank was built first and then the rest of the Aquarium was constructed around it.

The tank features Caribbean Coral Reef animals, and is heated to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bay of Fundy

North Atlantic right whales grow to be 55 feet long, but even an alert vessel crew can pass over these endangered giants without noticing them.

Fewer than 400 right whales survive in the coastal waters of North America. More than 80 percent of the catalogued whales have been seen in the Bay of Fundy.


In 1997, the chiefs of Kubulau responded to dangers from commercial fishing with a ban on all commercial fishing in the area.

Researchers visit these villages—or burres—regularly to monitor their coastal ecosystems and to try to help with their conservation strategies.

The New Zealand Coast

Female Hector's dolphins produce just one calf every two to three years, making population increase a very slow process.

Traditionally, Maori watched dolphin movements to predict the weather.

Ross Sea

The calving of one iceberg moved a boundary of the ice shelf about 25 miles, a loss that would normally take the ice shelf 50 to 100 years to replace.

Global warming is causing Antarctic ice shelves to disintegrate. If enormous icebergs continue to break off more frequently, we will need to understand the process and its effects.

Phoenix Islands

The reefs teem with life and the tropical skies are alive with seabirds—proof that this remains one of the most pristine places left on our planet.

The Phoenix Islands are more than 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Tierra del Fuego

Because great distances separate the rocky islands where southern rockhopper penguins breed, over time two species of rockhoppers have evolved.

The name rockhopper describes the way these penguins hop around the steep, rocky places where they live for part of the year.

Southeastern United States

One key to helping the endangered North Atlantic right whale population recover is protecting calves and mothers from vessel strikes.

More than two-thirds of catalogued whales have been seen here at some point in their lives. On average 150 individual whales are seen here in any given year.

STEP 3: Click on the shaded area of the map to choose your plot to protect.

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