Pollution

Humans take a huge toll on the environment in a variety of forms. Small plastic pieces make their way to the ocean where they are consumed by fish. Oils spills occur and nutrient runoff can have a huge impact on coastal ecosystems.

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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...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
It blew in for two solid days: a flotilla of plastic forks, soda bottles,...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP...

LATEST CATCH

In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of these blooms is that there is...
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the...

DIVE DEEPER

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 Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
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...
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water and onto the beaches of the remote ecosystem. Richard Carson...
Jellyfish produce mucus, especially when stressed, which can interact with oil and break it down. This moon jellyfish is sloughing off mucus that has mixed with droplets of oil. Researchers from the...
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,...
An estimated 5 tons of plastic are fed to albatross chicks each year at Midway Atoll.
Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) workers contracted by BP clean up oil on the beach in Port Fourchon, La. May 23, 2010. Hundreds of HSE contract workers cleaned up oil from the Deepwater Horizon...
Sea turtles face many obstacles throughout their lives—net entanglement, light pollution, mistaking plastic for food—among the many that are caused by humans. Get a glimpse of what goes on behind-the...
Boats trying to control the fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 21, 2010.
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...
Ocean plastic comes in all shapes and sizes, from the flip-flops and bottles that drift off to sea to the teeny-tiny micro-plastics smaller than grains of sand. No matter the size, plastic in the...
Part 4 of a 6-part series describing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Searching for the...
We all know to avoid touching or eating oil (the fossil fuel variety that is). But after a coastal oil spill, avoiding oil can be difficult if you live near the sea or rely on it for protein or your...
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...
By Emily Frost You’ve probably heard of genetics—you can now swab your mouth and use DNA to find information about your ancestry going back hundreds to thousands of years or see if you have a...
If this chick had survived, it could have lived a long time. The oldest known wild bird is a 62-year old Laysan albatross named “Wisdom,” who still rears chicks on Midway Atoll.
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...
Slip into the water along a sheltered coast in nearly any part of the world and you’re likely to find yourself in an emerald field of seagrass . Like flowering plants on land, seagrasses grow, flower...
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