Ocean Health

The ocean is Earth’s most vital feature. It holds 97% of our planet’s water, produces over half of the oxygen in our atmosphere, and has a major influence on weather and climate. The ocean sustains all life on Earth, including ours.

Human activity on land and at sea has an influence on the ocean today and in the future. More than one billion people get their primary source of protein from the ocean. Ocean-based businesses support 38 million jobs and the global economic activity is worth between $3-6 trillion annually. Nearly 40% of the world’s population lives within 60 lives of the coast.

We are part of the ocean ecosystem and ocean health is critical to our very survival.

The ocean is threatened by climate change, ocean acidification, over-harvesting, habitat destruction, pollution, the spread of invasive species, and more. But, there is hope. We have never known more about our changing ocean, its threats, and how to protect its future.

At the Seacoast Science Center, we teach why ocean health matters. We inspire people to care about and for the ocean and help them understand how the small choices we make every day can make a big difference in promoting ocean health.

We envision a future with an abundant, sustainable, healthy world ocean.

Ocean Literacy
The Seacoast Science Center is committed to meeting the national call to strengthen the country’s awareness of the importance of the ocean and create an ocean science literate society. We know, that through education, people will better understand the function of the ocean and make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.

There are 7 essential principles of Ocean Literacy — ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean. To learn more, visit the Ocean Literacy web site.


Our Ocean Health Blog

Here Come the Sea Squirts!

From UNH Today | originally published Monday, February 5, 2018
Warmer ocean temperatures will accelerate reproduction in invasive tunicates

They’re lovingly called “sea squirts,” but these marine soft-bodied animals, or tunicates, could cause a giant-sized problem in cold water areas like the Gulf of Maine.
New UNH research indicates

Sustainable Fisheries

Mike Doherty | Program Naturalist
The ocean provides an incredible source of food. In fact, it is the primary source of protein for more than 3 billion people on Earth. As New Englanders, we are fortunate to have multiple options available to us when it comes to seafood. Lobster, fish and chips, and fried clams

Coral Reef Restoration

Seacoast Science Center Aquarist Rob Royer recently traveled to Key Largo, FL to assist the Coral Restoration Foundation with their coral reef regrowth efforts. Learn about their work in this video (underwater footage shot by Rob), and more about coral reef habitats and their decline at the Center’s new Coral Reefs exhibit.
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Beach Clean-Up Yields Big Results

On Earth Day 2017, the Seacoast Science Center hosted its 9th annual Rescue Run for Marine Mammals, and also hosted its first beach clean-up of the season. Working in partnership with the Blue Ocean Society for Ocean Conservation, we invited Rescue Run participants to stay and help clean up the shoreline at Odiorne Point State

Sea Star Wasting Disease

Mike Doherty | Program Naturalist
If you visited the Center recently, you may have noticed an odd-looking sea star or two. That is because many of them had begun to autotomise their own arms, meaning purposefully disconnecting them from their bodies.
Sea stars are known drop limbs for a number of reasons; one being

Onward: ocean plans for a truly blue economy

Wendy Lull | SSC President
After several years of following the process to create the nation’s first ocean plans, I am very pleased that two regional plans, the Northeast Ocean Plan and the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan, have been finalized. These plans promote the use of integrated ocean data and best practices for informed and

Estuary Ecosystem Spotlight: Great Bay

Guest post by Jeff Barnum | Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper for the Conservation Law Foundation
Great Bay, in coastal New Hampshire, is one of only 28 ecosystems in the U.S. to be designated as an ‘estuary of national significance,’ so we are spotlighting one of the challenges the bay is facing: loss of eelgrass. Jeff Barnum took SSC staff members out on

Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team Participates in Full Scale Oil Spill Exercise

Heidi Duncanson | Development and Communications Coordinator
Earlier this month, four members of our staff participated in a major environmental drill involving two dozen federal, state and local agencies and industrial partners.* The Northern New England Oil Spill Full Scale Exercise was held by NH Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) to prepare

How to Raise an Environmentalist

Encouraging children to form an emotional attachment to nature may be key to protecting our planet’s future.
Guest Post by Jill Suttie
This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

We read it in the news every day. From climate change to overfishing to deforestation, it

Learning Science by Doing Science

Thom Smith, an elementary school teacher in Bradford, NH  is currently on McAuliffe Sabbatical, collaborating with Center staff to develop a Rocky Shore Curriculum, which will be a free and readily available resource for elementary level educators upon its completion.
Thom Smith | McAuliffe Sabbatical | Elementary School Teacher, Bradford, NH
Originally posted on September 24, 2016 on