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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...
When a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale becomes entangled in...
Seagrasses growing on the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay rely on light to grow—...
We drove down a long dirt road on the northern side of Curaçao looking for a...

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There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which endangers wildlife that eats or gets tangled in it. Reducing the amount of plastic trash in the ocean doesn't seem that hard; people just need to use less...
Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely...
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii...

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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

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:...
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...
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-...
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...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
Plastic pollution in the ocean is a serious problem that we need to face head-on. Our flotsam can choke, entangle, or kill marine life and is dangerous to humans as well.
Marine mammals around the world face many challenges due to interactions with people, from overfishing and entanglement to vessel strikes and disturbance from human sounds. Dr. Brandon Southall...
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...
Oil leaks from cars and other vehicles contribute to ocean pollution.
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...
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-...
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"...
More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. To be good stewards and leave a thriving ocean for future generations, we need to make changes big and small wherever we are. To make a positive...
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.
Carl Pellegrin (left) of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Tim Kimmel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to net an oiled pelican in Barataria Bay, La., Saturday, June...
Dr. Chris Reddy, an environmental chemist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution studies the long-term impacts of oil spills. Watch as he digs beneath the surface in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor...
These photos portray baby albatrosses, which are fed the plastic by their parents. A chick can have an ounce of plastic in its belly and remain healthy; the dead chicks have twice as much, biologist...
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...
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