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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...
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Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP...
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William...
When a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale becomes entangled in...

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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-scenes of a sea turtle...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita...
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were...

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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...
Part 6 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. "Assessing the Impacts" describes a range of work by...
Oil leaks from cars and other vehicles contribute to ocean pollution.
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.
In the Pacific Ocean, four ocean currents merge to form the North Pacific gyre, also known as the North Pacific Subtropical High, which spans the western US to Japan, and Hawaii to California. This...
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...
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 .
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...
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 !
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.
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...
These tiny shells are the foraminifera Globobulimina affinis , found on the seafloor throughout the Atlantic Ocean. What makes this foram noteworthy is that it can survive where other forams can't:...
More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt marsh, environmental chemist Dr. Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution finds that the oil is still...
A still from a video documenting a remote beach in Curaçao that's been blanketed in plastic garbage. You can read how this marine debris impacted on researcher on our blog .
Ocean debris is a global problem that is slowly destroying the biological aspect of our waters. With the help of our communities we can start making the right decisions to keep our oceans clean and...
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...
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"...
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...
A Yellow spotted trevally struggles to free itself from a fisherman's discarded net. Discarded nets continue to fish long after they have been lost, devastating the local fish populations and choking...
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