What Is Oceans Ohio?

We are a non profit organization working to improve ecological understanding of the links between the health of Ohio’s watersheds and the health of our oceans, through education, scientific research, data collection, and community events.

Our Mission

Connecting researchers, educators, and the public to facilitate innovative research experiences and collaborative projects that foster awareness of the connection between Ohio’s inland water system and the Earth’s oceans and how human health depends on the sustainability of both, as all water systems around the world are inextricably linked.

Oceans Ohio connects Ohio to the oceans by:

  • Bringing ocean science and education to Ohio
  • Building connections between scientists, educators, and the public from inland, coastal, and oceanic ecosystems
  • Providing inland residents with meaningful ocean education and research experiences

Why Our Logo?

Did you know that Ohio was once a tropical warm sea?

The Ordovician Period (505-438 million years ago) hosted a variety of invertebrate life. Fossils of Ordovician animals are among the most common found in Ohio, especially in the southwest. Examples include bryozoans (small colonial animals that look like twigs), brachiopods (small bivalved animals), clams and early gastropods.

The Silurian Period (438-408 million years ago) is sometimes referred to as the “Age of Corals,” since great reefs began to spread throughout the marine waters that covered Ohio. The first vascular plants also made their appearance at this time.

The Devonian (408-360 million years ago) is a particularly notable period, since this was the time when fish first appeared in the ancient seas that covered Ohio. These fish ranged from early jawless species to primitive sharks and bony fishes.

The most abundant ancient shark remains found in Ohio are of Cladoselache, the best known of the Devonian sharks. It had a streamlined body, large pectoral fins, two prominent dorsal fins and an upturned tail. It differed from modern sharks by having a long mouth that extended from the gill arches to the front of the snout and by having a simple and relatively weak jaw joint. They also lacked the solid vertebral column found in modern sharks. We love all sea creatures but thought the ancient sharks that once lived in Ohio are iconic and unique and connect us to the oceans of today!