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On April 27, 1986, an estimated 50,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil drained from a ruptured storage tank at a refinery in Panama, polluting the coast and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Galeta Marine...
As a research diver for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of my...
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From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful...
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field...

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At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. See a photo...
The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine...
There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which...

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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

The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
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...
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...
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical...
Artist Chris Jordan, who took these photos, is making a documentary about Laysan albatrosses on Midway Atoll and their plastic problem. Watch the trailer .
GRAND ISLE, La. -- Brown pelicans congregate on containment boom that surrounds Queen Bess Island, a few miles north of Grand Isle, Louisiana on August 25, 2010, a few months after the Deepwater...
Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even...
This four-foot long fish sculpture was created by art students at A.W. Cox Elementary School in Guilford, CT. The purpose of the Rakefish Project is to raise awareness of marine litter among...
Part 1 of a 6-part series describing WHOI's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Oil Spill Pioneers" describes WHOI's four decades of...
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...
For more than two centuries, Boston Harbor has been a dumping ground. In 1773, colonists famously dumped shiploads of tea to protest taxes. But in recent decades, the harbor has received less tea and...
What happens to the waste coming out of a fish processing plant? Typically the fish guts and bones get sent to sea via a pipeline, and the Environmental Protection Agency regulates how much can be...
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...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
Oil burns during a controlled fire on May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard oversaw oil burns after the sinking, and subsequent massive oil leak, from the Deepwater Horizon oil...
Have you ever gone to your favorite coastal or lakeside beach and instead of having a fun day in the sun you were faced with a trove of trash? How heartbreaking it is to see waters and shorelines...
Two years ago last week, on April 20, 2010, an explosion on the oil-drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused the largest marine oil spill in history , gushing nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil over...
Marine debris damages habitat, entangles wildlife, helps transport invasive species, and harms marine animals that mistakenly ingest the trash thinking it is food. As part of the Smithsonian's Art's...
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