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From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful sculpture you'd find in a small beach town. But when you look up close, Henry begins to change. His bright yellow...
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field...
More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...

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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...
Sometimes, a tragic event can become a powerful teaching opportunity. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to capture students’ attention and stimulate discussion...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
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...
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.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought the world's attention to the Gulf of Mexico and raised awareness of the region's chronic loss of wetlands as well as the massive dead zone caused by...
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...
An abandoned fishing net carrying 17 dead sea turtles was discovered off the coast of Bahia, Brazil days after a storm. One of the biggest threats to sea turtles is being accidentally caught and...
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...
Have you ever gone to your favorite coastal or lakeside beach and instead of having a fun day in the sun you were faced with a trove of trash? How heartbreaking it is to see waters and shorelines...
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...
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...
Ocean plastic comes in all shapes and sizes, from the flip-flops and bottles that drift off to sea to the teeny-tiny micro-plastics smaller than grains of sand. No matter the size, plastic in the...
Major oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are devestating, but aren’t the only way oil gets into the ocean. Nearly 85 percent of oil in U.S. coastal waters comes from runoff (roads,...
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...
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...
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill , ocean acidification, and the decline of fish stocks are just three of the topics that renowned ocean scientist, Dr. Jeremy Jackson discusses in this talk, recorded...
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...
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