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As a research diver for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of my jobs is to make sure that people and companies working in the fish industry don’t dump too much waste in...
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field...
Part 1 of a 6-part series describing WHOI's efforts to understand the scope and...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...

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In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "bloom" into dense patches near the surface, often referred to as "red tides." Some of these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are dangerous, producing toxins...
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of...

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The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and...

The Ocean Blog

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, opening up a well that pumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It was the largest spill in U.S. history. In this presentation...
Much of this plastic comes from litter on land, which washes down storm drains and eventually makes it to the ocean. Some bits are from fishing nets and lines discarded by fishing boats.
While conducting field work in Curaçao in 2011, Smithsonian researchers encountered trash along remote beaches and deep in the water column. This video gives a brief glimpse of some of the marine...
Midway Atoll, where these photos were taken, is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest land.
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar. Read more in a blog post from one of the researchers.
Workers contracted by BP load oily waste onto a trailer on Elmer's Island, just west of Grand Isle, La., May 21, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil spill featured story .
Marine debris--or trash that has washed or been dumped into our ocean and coastal areas--is not only unsightly but can also pose a serious hazard for humans and marine life. On Bonaire, beach-goers...
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field station , in Belize. This image is a still taken from a video recorded by Laurie Penland, a Smithsonian dive officer .
It blew in for two solid days: a flotilla of plastic forks, soda bottles, rubber gloves, and other refuse. I tried to pick everything up off the beach, but when I turned around, you couldn’t tell...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. To be good stewards and leave a thriving ocean for future generations, we need to make changes big and small wherever we are. To make a positive...
This photograph from a scanning electron micrograph shows the plastisphere up close. Here you can see a microbial reef forming on a tiny piece of plastic found in the open ocean. A variety of single-...
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on invertebrates like jellyfish, clams, crabs, sea stars, and plankton? The scope of the damage is more easily observed among birds...
Oil Spill Pioneers : A look back at the pioneers and oil spill research that stretches back more than four decades at WHOI. CREDIT: Justin E. Stumberg/U.S. Navy How Much Oil? : Scientists from WHOI...
Dr. Erica Miller of the Louisiana State Wildlife Response Team cleans oil form a pelican in Plaquemines Parish, LA. Wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico have been heavily impacted by an ongoing oil spill...
The explosion of Deepwater Horizon, an oil-drilling platform roughly 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, is quickly growing into an environmental disaster that will leave its mark on coastal...
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought the world’s attention to the Gulf of Mexico and raised awareness of the region’s chronic loss of wetlands and the massive dead zone caused by excess nutrients...
The National Museum of Natural History's Department of Invertebrate Zoology has developed an online map that provides information about invertebrates in the National Collection from areas impacted by...
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