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  • Pristine Seas named a finalist in 100&Change, MacArthur's global competition for a single $100 million grant. Learn More

The ocean. It covers 70 percent of the planet and shelters an incredible diversity of life. It gives us food, jobs, and more than half the oxygen we breathe. We swim and sail it, travel to be near it, and learn from it.

But we’re taking too many fish out of the ocean, polluting it, and making it warmer and more acidic. And less than eight percent of it is protected.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala launched the Pristine Seas project in 2008 to explore and help save the last wild places in the ocean. These unique ecosystems are a window into the past, revealing what the ocean looked like before overfishing and pollution took their toll. It is essential that we let the world know that these places exist, that they are threatened, and that help is needed to protect them. Read more.

Our Expeditions

We’ve explored some of the wildest places in the ocean. See what we’ve discovered.

All Expeditions

The National Geographic Interactive Globe

  • Explore the world by selecting, zooming in, and dragging. You can also spin our globe—much like a real globe.

    Zoom by double-clicking, or by using the icons on the bottom left of the page.

  • To stop the globe from spinning, click a marker.

    Discover our latest featured content each week by clicking the yellow markers on our globe.

    Each marker represents a featured resource (photo, activity, video, article, etc) and its representative location.

  • Click the highlighted text to expand the content on the right side, read more, see related items, and navigate to the full feature.

  • View a full list of featured information each week by clicking the list icon at the bottom of the homepage:

    Visit us each week to find out about a new place, topic, or theme around the world.

    The globe will change in appearance to help tell each story. Previous globe sets will be available on our site for future reference and use. Search “Teaching Atlas” for the full collection.

  Current Expedition     Past Expedition     Protected Area

Our Impact


Latest Field Updates

With up to five expeditions per year, we’re never far from our next exploration. Follow along on Instagram and Twitter as exciting moments unfold.

Founding Sponsor



Additional Support Provided By

The Brook Foundation, The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Jean and Steve Case, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, DAVIDOFF Cool Water, The Don Quixote Foundation, Roger and Rosemary Enrico, Helmsley Charitable TrustLindblad Expeditions–National Geographic Fund, Oracle, Philip Stephenson Foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Vicki and Roger Sant, The Waitt Foundation, and other individual donors

Monitoring and Enforcement Partner

Pristine Seas is partnering with Vulcan Technologies to ensure the long-term monitoring of marine protected areas, using Vulcan Technologies' cutting edge Skylight system. Surveillance and enforcement of these protected areas are critical to their sustainability and effectiveness in safeguarding marine ecosystems. 


Exploring Conservation

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