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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 .
More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
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2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the...

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For centuries, the Baltic Sea has provided European flounder ( Platichthys flesus ) and other fish for millions of people to consume. Since the early 1980s, the nations surrounding the sea have coordinated their efforts to...
In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "...
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on...

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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...
A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage. Even if you don't have scuba gear, you can help protect the ocean and coral reefs !
by Hannah Waters In August 1994, Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in a submersible for the first time. A newly-minted Ph.D., she had recently completed her graduate studies on marine microbes living...
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...
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...
Oil leaks from cars and other vehicles contribute to ocean pollution.
The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific...
On June 3, 2010 a brown pelican, the Louisiana state bird, stands mired in oil in East Grand Terre. According to reports, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was contacted, and...
The Gulf of Mexico is known for one of the world's largest “dead zones"—areas of low- or no-oxygen water along the seafloor that suffocate most animal life. The average size of the Gulf's dead zone (...
Sometimes, a tragic event can become a powerful teaching opportunity. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to capture students’ attention and stimulate discussion...
Sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are incredibly diverse and complicated systems. Because of this complexity, it can be a challenge to manage and protect reefs—and sometimes...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
By now, you have probably heard of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch . The name conjures the image of a floating island made of familiar plastic trash such as soda bottles and plastic bags, disposable...
Mark Dodd, a wildlife biologist from Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, surveying oiled sargassum seaweed in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Learn more about...
Major oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are devestating, but aren’t the only way oil gets into the ocean. Nearly 85 percent of oil in U.S. coastal waters comes from runoff (roads,...
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 .
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 .
Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
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