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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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,...
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You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are,...
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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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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...

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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...
By Emily Frost When oil spills in the ocean, slicks are the center of media attention because they do so much immediate harm to wildlife. Oil floating at the surface can harm fish, kill birds,...
On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the oil-drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused the largest marine oil spill in US history, gushing nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil over the course of three...
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...
On the deep seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, ecosystems made up of fish, corals, sea stars, anemones and other invertebrates flourish. Since the sun’s rays don’t reach the deep sea, coral communities...
Solving environmental problems often starts with small groups of people working to make things better. But to sustain and scale up environmental successes often requires government support. The Ocean...
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...
Boats trying to control the fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 21, 2010.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was formed as a 10-year independent research program with money provided by BP to fund an independent research program looking at the impact of oil...
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.
American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary comprises a fringing coral reef ecosystem nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. The 163-acre sanctuary—the...
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...
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impacts the coast at Pass a Loutre, La. Photo was taken on June 2, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil...
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:...
A scientist, Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, collects oil-laden "sand patties" on a Louisiana beach two years after the oil spill. Watch a video of Chris Reddy talking about...
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...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar and other noisy human activities. The partnership is...
One study found that 97.5% of chicks had plastic in their stomachs, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium .
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 .
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