Microscopic Ocean Life Revealed
Life in the sea depends upon its smallest organisms. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of the richest, most diverse marine environments in the world, largely because of unique underwater features and wind conditions that produce upwelled nutrient rich water. In surface waters, plankton use these nutrients to increase in numbers and form the base of the food web supporting thousands of species in the sanctuary, from krill to whales.
The on-board marine biology lesson provides O'Neill Sea Odyssey students the opportunity to not only learn about and observe sea life at or above the surface, but also catch and study plankton from beneath the surface. This up-close look and classroom discussion helps our Ocean Stewards better understand how these microscopic organisms are specially adapted to life in the sea and are the primary producers on which oceanic food webs are dependent.