Marine Environments

The Marine Environments is divided up into three main ecosystems; Oceans, Coral Reefs and Estuaries. There are the five major oceans that cover the world including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans.

Composite image of the key marine environments; ocean, coral reef and mangroves
Key marine environments; ocean, coral reef and mangroves

Coral reefs are small in size when compared to the oceans, but around 25% of marine species live in the coral reefs ecosystems. Estuaries are areas where rivers and streams flow into the ocean. This area where freshwater and saltwater meets, creates an ecosystem diverse plant and animal life often called the ‘nurseries of the sea”.

Oceans contain the greatest diversity of life on Earth. Habitats range from the freezing polar regions to the warm waters of the coral reefs, deep sea hydrothermal vents to shallow seagrass beds and beautiful sponge gardens to giant kelp forests, marine organisms are found everywhere.

Our oceans make up 71% of the earth’s surface and they contain the greatest diversity of life on Earth.

  • Seagrass beds
  • Kelp forests
  • Sponge Gardens
Composite image of temperate marine habitats; seagrass, kelp beds and sponge gardens
Temperate marine habitats; seagrass, kelp beds and sponge gardens

Marine Environments Highlighted

Sydney’s Rocky Reefs

Diving in Sydney is a great experience, there is literally a secret garden hidden beneath the surface. Sandstone rock formations, incredible sponge gardens and a huge diversity of marine life is waiting for you to explore.

Watch this video to get a taste of what is hidden beneath the surface.

Deep Sea

Sunlight only reaches as far as 200 m down in the ocean.  Below this depth plants cannot survive. The deeper you go in the ocean, the darker and colder it gets and the higher the pressure gets.  Very little is known about the amazing creatures that live in the depths of our oceans.

Caring for our Oceans

Our coasts are impacted by our actions on land. Rubbish and microplastics can be found washed up on almost every Australian beach. These are great activities to do with your local community or high school students.

The Beach Survey provides a starting point to understand the types of rubbish in the marine environment.

Beach Survey

The Beach Clean up can help you work together as a team and community to remove this of rubbish.

Beach Clean up

Find out more about the impacts on plastics in our oceans.

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