Monica Medina

  The creation of America’s national parks is an indelible part of our country’s and National Geographic’s history. Early in the 20th century, a group of reporters and businessmen, including National Geographic editor Gilbert H. Grosvenor, went on an expedition to the Sierra Nevada mountains and returned determined to begin protecting extraordinary natural, cultural and historic...

It’s dawn on Sea Island, Georgia, a small, beachside resort famous for its nostalgic southern charm and family atmosphere. But this year, Sea Island is also attracting an increasing number of mothers of another sort—loggerhead turtles who are arriving in droves to lay their eggs. Loggerhead females have already made more than 80 new nests—twice...

This week, I have traveled thousands of miles to the small Pacific island nation of Palau to celebrate Earth Day with its conservation-minded people. I am here specifically for the world premiere of the National Geographic documentary film about the Pristine Seas expedition to Palau that took place last September. The film, entitled Return to Paradise,...

Yesterday was a great day for ocean conservation. Yes, of course, the historic agreement between the U.S. and China to curb their greenhouse gas emissions will help decrease the amount of carbon pollution that ends up in the ocean. But there was another announcement that was also historic and will begin to turn the tide in another part...

A grey reef shark, Carcharhinus amblyrhinchos, patroling on the western terrace of Kingman Reef, over a school of fusiliers, Pterocaesio tile, 28 m depth. Grey reef sharks are the most abundant large predators and account for more than half of the total fish biomass at Kingman Reef. (Photo by Enric Sala/National Geographic) President Obama made...

Today, with a sense of urgency and some impressive partners, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project begins a bold new effort to save the last wild places in the oceans (read the full press release). Time for these places is running out. The threats are well-known–overfishing, pollution, and climate change–and are very hard to eradicate. This...

“Guano” is basically just a fancy word for the white stuff excreted by birds that makes a mess on your car, or worse yet, your head. But lately I have been thinking about guano with a whole new appreciation for the stuff. Why, you ask? Because an obscure law passed in 1856–that remains on the...

In 2004, Australia created the first large-scale marine protected area (MPA) in the world. Its Great Barrier Reef Marine Park had been a world heritage site since 1981, but ten years ago the government of Australia did the unthinkable – they banned all fishing, both recreational and commercial, from 33% of the park. In one...

There is a new wave of conservation in the Pacific. Fed up with overfishing and other non-sustainable practices like shark finning, small island nations are returning to more traditional ways. They are beginning to scale back industrial fishing in their waters, to protect their fish stocks from illegal fishing, and to create sustainable tourism destinations...

President Obama recently announced plans to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to create the largest marine protected area in the world—larger than the states of Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico combined. That is great news for many reasons, not the least of which is that endangered whales, turtles, and seabirds really...

President Obama recently pledged to expand the current boundaries of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. At approximately 215,000 square kilometers, it is already one of the largest nature preserves on the planet. Why does it need to be bigger? Of course, as with all things, size matters. When it comes to getting the...

People across the globe have been swept up in World Cup fever for the past few weeks. Often, with the clock running down and the game on the line, teams have brought in fresh legs and it led to victory. Nowhere was this strategy more brilliantly deployed than when The Netherlands subbed out their star...