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Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical daily tasks. Increasingly though,...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the...
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It blew in for two solid days: a flotilla of plastic forks, soda bottles,...
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Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP...

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In this view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from above in June 2010, you can see bright orange oil floating on the ocean's surface on the left and, on the right, a thin layer of oil reflects the colors of the rainbow. However...
Sea turtles face many obstacles throughout their lives—net entanglement,...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita...

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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 impacts of derelict fishing gear on the Northwest Hawaiian Islands coral reef ecosystem are numerous. A primary effect of reef entanglement is structural damage to the coral substrate that...
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...
Seagrasses growing on the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay rely on light to grow—but, thanks to pollution, that sunlight has become more scarce. Nutrient runoff from fertilizers causes microscopic...
Artist Chris Jordan, who took these photos, is making a documentary about Laysan albatrosses on Midway Atoll and their plastic problem. Watch the trailer .
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...
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...
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...
In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's easy to hear the sharp, buzzing calls of seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus )—even if they can be hard to spot. These five-inch, brown...
These bits and pieces of plastic are drying in a petri dish before they are archived. They were collected in nets from the open ocean.
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-...
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were lost at sea by fishers; others were discarded overboard when they ripped or became tangled. Regardless, once they are...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar. Read more in a blog post from one of the researchers.
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...
Sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are incredibly diverse and complicated systems. Because of this complexity, it can be a challenge to manage and protect reefs—and sometimes...
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...
A group of students pick up trash along the coast of Guyana during the Ocean Conservancy's 2012 Coastal Cleanup, which it organizes in countries around the world every year. In 2013, nearly 650,000...
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...
Sabrina Taylor, a wildlife biologist at Louisiana State University and lead scientist for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, releases a seaside sparrow ( Ammodramus maritimus ) in the Louisiana...
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