The text on this site is presented as an archival version of the script of "Ocean Planet," a 1995 Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. The content reflects the state of knowledge at the time of the exhibition, and has not been updated.

Planet-wide Perils

This "buoy" will help you navigate through the causes, effects and responses to problems associated coastal development, population growth, climate change, and stratospheric ozone depletion.

Each of the four sides of this buoy marks the course through oceans in peril.


Oceans are crucial in shaping climate
Oceans store and move heat around the planet, and they're a major source and storehouse for gases that affect climate.
photo © Luc Cuyvers


Stratospheric ozone depletion could have ecological effects
Like falling dominoes, each level in the antarctic food web could be affected by increased ultraviolet radiation.
photo © José Azel/Aurora


Congested Coastlines
As coastal populations grow, development threatens wildlife and coastal ecosyatems.
photo © Robert Perron


Growing human population place demands on coastal resources
Over half of the world's population lives within 60 miles of a coastline.
Fourth of July weekend, Absecon Island, New Jersey, 1983 photo © Michael Baytoff/Black Star

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)