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Oceans Stories

Polar bear and cub

Imperiled polar bears face new threat in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

In some areas of the Arctic, female polar bears are more frequently choosing to build their maternity dens on land, rather than sea ice. The land provides the stability and security that sea ice no longer can—at least until human activity comes into the picture.

  • We’re one step closer to keeping trash and plastic out of our oceans

    October 18, 2018

    Nearly 124,000 WWF activists from 49 states reached out to their member of Congress to support a bipartisan bill to take a stand on ocean plastic, and their impressive efforts paid off.

    humback whale jump
  • Mangroves mean life for coastal communities throughout the tropics

    July 25, 2018

    Mangroves provide valuable services for people and the planet but they’re disappearing at an alarming rate and human activity is mostly to blame. Explore these forests in this photo essay and learn what WWF is doing to bring back 20% of the mangroves we’ve lost by 2030.

    Mangroves in Placencia, Belize.
  • Belize’s incredible barrier reef is removed from UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger

    June 26, 2018

    Thanks to a series of conservation measures enacted by Belize’s government, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System has been removed from the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger sites. 

    Fish and coral. Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Ambergris caye, Belize, Central America.
  • 7 Ways you can help save the ocean

    June 06, 2018

    Covering more than 70% of our planet’s surface, the ocean contains the largest diversity of life on Earth and affects everything from global weather patterns to food systems. Learn what steps you can take help protect the ocean. 

    Coral with a big school of fish. Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Ambergris caye, Belize, Central America.
  • Why we must help Bristol Bay now

    April 02, 2018

    Bristol Bay, Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and the source of the world's largest wild salmon fishery. Yet its future is in jeopardy from the proposal for Pebble Mine. Now the US Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to fast track the mine's permit application and we must take action now.

    bristol bay aerial
  • Lack of winter sea ice disrupts life in the Arctic

    March 23, 2018

    It’s the second-worst winter for sea ice in the Arctic. As this rapid warming trend continues, entire ecosystems are unraveling and the consequences are impacting daily life in the Arctic as well as life in coastal communities thousands of miles away.

     
    diomede island arctic
  • Love lobster tails? Thank The Bahamas’ Mia Isaacs

    March 07, 2018

    As president of the Bahamas Marine Exporters Association and managing director of Heritage Seafood, a leading lobster processor, Mia is working with her fellow exporters, fishermen, the Bahamian government, and international NGOs like WWF and The Nature Conservancy to ensure lobsters are fished sustainably. 

    Spiny Lobster
  • 3 things you should know about January’s record-low Arctic sea ice

    February 22, 2018

    January 2018 brought record-low sea ice cover to the Arctic, according to new data released by the US government. That’s bad news for the ocean, wildlife, and local communities that rely on both for survival.

    Ice melting in Bering Strait
  • How would offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic impact wildlife?

    The Trump administration called for the removal of crucial Arctic protections in a new draft proposal of where oil and gas companies can purchase leases for offshore drilling. Take a look at how a handful of the Arctic’s abundant wildlife would be impacted by offshore drilling and a potential oil spill in the Arctic.

    Arctic fox licks nose
  • A better way to fish for yellowfin tuna in the Philippines

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    High demand for yellowfin makes it an important economic lifeline for some communities in the Philippines. Unfortunately, yellowfin populations can’t handle much more pressure from fishing.
    tuna spring2018
  • How climate change is turning green turtle populations female in the northern Great Barrier Reef

    January 09, 2018

    Because incubation temperature of turtle eggs determines the animal’s sex, a warmer nest results in more females. Increasing temperatures in Queensland’s north, linked to climate change, have led to virtually no male northern green sea turtles being born.

    green turtle Great Barrier Reef
  • Trump Administration to roll back crucial Arctic protections

    January 05, 2018

    The Arctic Ocean—the pristine home to bowhead whales, gray whales, polar bears, walruses, and other magnificent wildlife, along with many indigenous communities—could potentially lose crucial protections from risky offshore oil and gas drilling.

    polar bears rest on an ice pack
  • Belize ends oil activity in its ocean waters

    January 05, 2018

    Belize, home of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, permanently suspended oil activity in its ocean waters. The legislation marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its oceans—and all the life within—from oil exploration and extraction.

    A ray swimming in Belize
  • Celebrating the biggest conservation wins of 2017

    December 13, 2017

    As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of our biggest conservation successes of the year. And we couldn’t have done it without your support.

    Myanmar Elephant Restricted Campaign
  • Making the financial case for protecting Belize’s barrier reef

    October 18, 2017

    A first-of-its-kind report, released in collaboration with our partners in the region, warns that Belize stands to lose millions in revenue generated by one sector alone if protections for the reef aren’t put in place and enforced.

    bottlenose dolphin swimming in Belize
  • Finding a better way to fish for dolphin-safe tuna

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2017
    The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation is promoting healthy oceans by redesigning a key fishing device
    bluefin tuna
  • Why is Bristol Bay important for salmon? And seven other Bristol Bay facts

    August 09, 2017

    Alaska’s Bristol Bay is a sprawling watershed of winding streams and rivers, vast wetlands and tundra, forests of alder and spruce, and home to a variety of fish, birds and terrestrial animals. Learn more about this incredible place that WWF is working hard to save.

    Aerial view of Bristol Bay watershed
  • A new plan to save Belize's livelihood-giving reef and coasts

    July 27, 2017

    The coastal nation of Belize is at a crossroads. In 2009, the reef system was added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. It remains on the list today because of mangrove deforestation, unsustainable coastal development and offshore oil exploration. The good news is a coastal zone management plan can safeguard Belize’s natural assets and produce a win-win opportunity for the people and environment.

    Fish in the ocean in Belize.
  • America’s Arctic could soon open up to a new wave of risky offshore oil and gas drilling

    July 20, 2017

    Every five years, the US determines where oil and gas companies can purchase leases for offshore drilling. The most recent plan excluded the Arctic, but the Trump administration wants to change that.

    Arctic ocean
  • Belize fails to implement promised protections for the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage site

    June 27, 2017

    The government of Belize has not put into place promised protections for the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage site, leaving the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere under threat from offshore oil drilling and damaging coastal construction, according to a new WWF assessment.

    Construction in Belize's barrier reef
  • Mexico commits to critical measures to save the vaquita

    June 08, 2017

    The government of Mexico announces a permanent ban on gillnets in the Upper Gulf of California - a fantastic and encouraging step forward in the path to saving the vaquita.

    Fins
  • Without global action, the world’s smallest porpoise could go extinct by 2018

    May 15, 2017

    With an estimated 30 or fewer remaining individuals, the vaquita are the focus of WWF’s new report calling for immediate, collective action to save the species from extinction. Prepared for WWF by Dalberg, Vanishing vaquita: saving the world’s most endangered marine mammal comes just before the two-year ban is due to expire at the end of May. 

    Fin
  • 5 reasons why America's Arctic should remain off-limits to new drilling for oil and gas

    April 26, 2017

    Most of the Arctic’s federal waters are off limits to thanks to protections put in place in 2016. But the Trump administration and some in Congress want to allow fossil fuel companies to begin bidding for a chance to drill. 

    arctic sea ice broken up
  • Working together to save World Heritage Sites

    April 18, 2017

    On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.

    Green turtles in the ocean.