Though the Web site has already been online for a bit and won an award for its efforts, the new Smithsonian Ocean Portal was unveiled yesterday by the Smithsonian Institution as a “a pioneering new website designed to inspire awareness, understanding and stewardship of the world’s ocean.” The site was formally launched around this time in honor of World Oceans Day.
The Smithsonian Ocean Portal, according to the Smithsonian, is focused upon creating “an online community where visitors can deepen their personal connection to the ocean and continually build upon their knowledge of and concern for the ocean with others.” The site, which will be updated daily by “content and media from its ocean collaborators, as well as the ebb and flow of visitor interactions and user-generated content,” is broken up into a variety of areas focused upon different ocean topics. These include information about marine life species and the environments in which they live; the latest experiments and research of ocean scientists around the world; the evolution of the ocean; and a special section designed to “inspire visitors to participate, share, and check out featured actions that they can take to help the ocean.”
“The Ocean Portal is a groundbreaking project for the Smithsonian,” said Michael Edson, director of web and new media strategy at the Smithsonian Institution. “Ten or twenty years ago we might have been satisfied just to capture and communicate the current state of ocean science to a passive audience. Now, the Ocean Portal is showing us another way: we’re bringing together citizens, students, educators, and researchers from dozens of Institutions to explore the dynamic complexities of the oceans in real time.”
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