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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

Laysan albatrosses will fly hundreds of miles to catch food to feed their chicks. Or, rather, what looks like food: sometimes they catch floating plastic instead.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster has imperiled the ecosystem along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Most oil spills have occurred at the ocean surface. This one, originating at the ocean floor and rising up...
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.
A placard warns residents that water—and anything else—that goes own this storm drain makes its way into the Potomac River and, eventually the ocean.
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...
The National Oil Spill Commission has released findings from its investigation into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the final report or watch the video summary . Then,...
Part 3 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. "Sampling the Source"...
Striped dolphins ( Stenella coeruleoalba ) observed in emulsified oil on April 29, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, a few days after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It's going to take years to understand...
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...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
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...
Sometimes I think that our planet Earth, named for the Old English word for “dry land” (eorthe), should get a new name. Despite our knowledge that more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface is...
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 leaks from cars and other vehicles contribute to ocean pollution.
We drove down a long dirt road on the northern side of Curaçao looking for a remote place to snorkel and sample. After a 30-minute bumpy ride, our team stepped out of the car into a breeze and the...
Dark brown oil floods a marsh on the Mississippi Delta after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on May 18, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil spill featured story .
The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred on March 24, 1989 when an oil tanker grounded on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. It spilled almost 11 million gallons of crude oil, which reached 1,300...
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