This month President Obama announced that it is his intention to expand the United States marine protected areas. The ocean creatures in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument can breathe a sigh of relief! This expansion would prohibit fishing, oil drilling and other activities that would disturb the wildlife and reefs.
The expansion would increase the size of the protected area to about 200 nautical miles. This area contains tropical coral reefs, a large tuna population and hundreds, even thousands of different species that are very vulnerable to changes in the ocean temperature.
Although travel to the remote islands of the South Pacific may not be on your list this summer, even local marine life in the continental US needs our help. So if you are traveling to the beach during this holiday week and want to learn more about the animals in the world’s oceans here is a selected reading list filled with underwater inhabitants.
A Day in the Deep
by Kevin Kurtz, illustrated by Erin E. Hunter
Travel deep into the ocean way below the surface and you’ll encounter some creatures you never knew existed! This book takes you on a journey through the dark depths of the sea towards the ocean floor. Most ecosystems need sunlight, but deep in the ocean where the sun doesn’t shine animals have adapted some very interesting ways to see, protect themselves, and eat. Discover the unique habitats, adaptations, and food chains of these deep -sea creatures.
Ocean Hide and Seek
by Jennifer Evans Kramer, illustrated by Gary R. Phillips
The sea is a place of mystery, where animals big and small play hide and seek! Can you imagine a shark hiding in the light? What about a clownfish in plain sight? Don’t believe it? Then, sink into the deep blue sea with Jennifer Evans Kramer and Ocean Hide and Seek! Surround yourself with the vibrant ocean illustrations of Gary R. Phillips. The ocean is an old, old place, and the exotic animals in the depths have learned to adapt to their surroundings to survive. Can you find the creatures hidden on every page? Or will you, too, be fooled by an ancient, underwater disguise?
by Ron Hirschi, illustrated by Kristen Carlson
Seasons change in the ocean much as they do on land. Spring brings new plants and baby animals, while summer oceans are aglow with sparkly plankton lights, and autumn winds blow across the open water. In winter the humpback whales migrate to warmer waters, just as some land animals move to warmer climates. In fun, fanciful form, children learn about plants and animals that are joined through the mix of seasons, food webs and habitats beneath the waves. While set in the Pacific, similar changes occur in all the world’s ocean.
by Ann Downer, illustrated by Shennen Bersani
“Who am I?” wonders Shark Baby. When his “mermaid’s purse” egg case is torn loose in a storm, he finds himself on a journey through different ocean habitats: kelp forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. He learns what kind of shark he isn’t, but not what kind he is. He needs to find the “mermaid” to learn where he belongs, but the ocean is big and full of dangers. Will he find out who he is—and what he can do—in time?
If you like these books check out our other ocean titles here!