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Ways to Protect the Environment

Sustainable Fishing
Exploring Pollution Solutions
Protecting Habitats
Understanding Global Climate Change
 Protecting Habitats

Overview | Coastal Development | Introduced Species | What is Being Done?

What is Being Done?

photo of fishing vessel trawling

What is being done to protect marine habitats?

Research, education, and new laws promoting conservation have provided many ways to protect marine habitats successfully. Scientists studying marine organisms use their data to inform lawmakers about specific habitats that require protection. The more we research marine ecosystems, the more we learn about how best to protect it. Educators play a large role by teaching people about the importance of protecting marine habitats.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 protects marine mammals and their habitats by prohibiting both the removal of marine mammals from the United States and the transport of marine mammals into the United States from other countries. The Endangered Species Act, passed in 1973, protects threatened and endangered species so that they may not become extinct. There are also many state and local laws which control building along the coast, pollution, littering, storm water and runoff. Ships that travel in and out of foreign ports are required to exchange their ballast water in the open ocean in an effort to prevent new species from invading coastal ecosystems. These laws and efforts to educate people about the effects that their decisions have on the ocean have led to some progress in the effort to protect marine habitats.

Of course, establishing Marine Protected Areas, such as the National Marine Sanctuaries, helps to protect habitats.

In some cases, preventing introduced species is being taken very seriously. In the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, no one is allowed to set foot on these pristine islands without following strict protocols that include bringing new shoes and freezing gear.

Research Links Related to Protecting Habitats:

 Species Affected by Protecting
  Harp Seal
Polar Bear
Common Dolphin
Leatherback Turtle
Loggerhead Turtle
Green Sea Turtle
Black-footed Albatross
Pink-footed Shearwater
Southern Elephant Seal
Greater Shearwater
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Harbor Seal
Hawksbill Turtle

 Activities Related to Protecting
  Predators Among Us
147 KB, pdf
This lesson will focus on human beings as predators, specifically in coral reef ecosystems.

 Other Resources Related to Protecting
  Deep Sea Coral
280 KB, mpeg,
There is coral at the bottoms of oceans all over the world, often over a mile deep.

Saving Crop Diversity
1434 KB, mpeg, audio clip
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault will store a backup collection of the worlds seeds to save crop diversity.

Saving the Earth's 'last dinosaurs'
360 KB, mpeg, audio clip
Leatherback turtles are not actually dinosaurs, but they are ancient and amazing animals.

Sea Turtles Dig the Dark
2940 KB, mpeg, video
Public Service Announcement put out by the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect sea turtle nesting habitats.

 Sponsored by:
NASA logoNational Aeronautics and
Space Administration

(NASA Award NCC5433)
NOAA logoNational Oceanic &
Atmospheric Administration

(NOAA Award NA06SEC4690006)

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