National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project searches for the last truly wild places in the ocean, remote areas untouched by human activity. Led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala, the team explores, conducts scientific research and makes powerful films to motivate world leaders to protect these last pristine places. An exhibition at the National Geographic Museum, “Pristine Seas: The Ocean’s Last Wild Places,” will showcase the work that the Pristine Seas team is doing to protect these remote and thriving regions. The free exhibition opens in the Museum’s M Street gallery on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
“Pristine Seas” features more than 60 images from the project’s expeditions, many captured by Sala himself. The exhibition is organized into four categories: Reefs, Oceanic Islands, the Arctic and Coastal Africa. The exhibition also features a section focused on the planning that goes into these expeditions as well as an area looking at the future of the Pristine Seas project and the team’s upcoming expeditions.
Traveling from the Arctic to tropical seas and coastal environments, the Pristine Seas team has completed more than a dozen expeditions since the project’s inception in 2008. Six of the sites the team has studied are now fully protected marine reserves totaling over 2.2 million square kilometers (around 850,000 square miles). The exhibition will feature maps, images of stunning wildlife and videos of healthy marine life from a selection of these expeditions and the conservation efforts in place to keep the protected areas safe.
“The Pristine Seas project is a great example of the impact National Geographic can have on conservation,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of National Geographic Exhibitions. “This project not only provides a baseline of data for science, but it also records some of the most pristine places in the ocean and inspires people around the world to get involved in preserving these places.”
Sala will share behind-the-scenes adventures from his Pristine Seas expeditions with National Geographic Live audiences in New York on Oct. 20, Los Angeles on Oct. 29 and Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19. After each talk, he will sign copies of his new National Geographic book, PRISTINE SEAS: Journeys to the Ocean’s Last Wild Places. Tickets to the Nat Geo Live events start at $25 and can be purchased at nglive.org.
Also open in the Museum’s 17th Street galleries are “Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants,” which will run until Oct. 12, 2015, and “Indiana Jones™ and the Adventure of Archaeology,” which will be open through Jan. 3, 2016.
The National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.), is open every day (except Dec. 25) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the 17th Street galleries is $15 for adults; $12 for National Geographic members, military, students and seniors; $10 for children 5-12; and free for local school, student and youth groups (18 and under; advance reservation required). Tickets may be purchased online at www.ngmuseum.org; via telephone at (202) 857-7700; or in person at the Museum between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281.