Feather star on gorgonian fan, Yasawa Island, Fiji.
Photo by Stacy Jupiter 2009/Marine Photobank

I smile o’er the wrinkled blue­
Lo! the sea is fair,
Smooth as the flow of a maiden’s hair;
And the welkin’s light shines through
Into mid-sea caverns of beryl hue,
And the little waves laugh and the mermaids sing,
And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing!

–from The Sea Spirit, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

“a digital address book of what lives in the oceans”

Of the things we at Oceanwire are thankful for, one of the most critical for our future is the quest of some to explore, document and map the oceans’ creatures and its nooks and crannies, trenches and vents, reefs and shoals.

The Census of Marine Life, a 10-year global effort to inventory as much ocean life as possible — or as one researcher characterized it, create “a digital address book of what lives in the oceans” — revealed some 6,000 potentially new marine species and has given us all a chance to see some of what lives beneath the sea’s surface.

For this, we are thankful.